This is different?
It is not that it has it's own sugar, like the maple and the excess liquid is boiled off. You are just trying to get the flavor of hickory by adding regular sugar?
Why not, after all the stores are full of hickory flavored BBQ, bacon, pork, country ham, beef. We even buy hickory woodchips to put on the grill to flavor our burgers.
Something about that hickory smell. Do you think our love of its smell goes back to our cave man days?
Thanks, back, Bev!
And Liquidamber, yes, you get some hickory flavor extract and add the sweetness. Isn't the hickory tree an amazing resource when you think of that? Plus the wood is supposed to be very good for tool handles etc. And I do love a nice campfire!
Thanks for reading and commenting.
I am almost done boiling mine now, I covered mine and did not need to add any extra liquid. Smells great. I only used bark, washed and brushed w/hard brissel brush under warm water, got a lot of junk off.
It is great, nice hickory flavor, I only had a small bag of bark, covered with about 4 cops of water. Simmered for 4 hours about. I may have to cut some of it with some plain homemade syrup because it is slightly strong for pancakes. It will be great for other sauces and cooking.
I thought about running it through a sieve first, but lining the sieve with cheesecloth would probably save a step. Then let it settle overnight and pour it through the coffee filters, leaving the sediment behind.
Sounds good. Mine looked like dark tea, befor I added sugar and boiled. I might try to sepperate into 2 batches next time and add more water to one to make a weaker batch for pancakes, waffels, etc. and use the other for cooking.
Sounds great! Wish we had hickories out here on the left coast... Wonder if you could make cedar syrup? The red cedar wood imparts great flavor into "planked" fish, and I've got about ten cu. yds. of cedar chips in my front yard as a result of pruning one of my trees. ;)
I've been trying to duplicate the Hickoryworks syrup, and so far have come up short. I found that hard-boiling the bark (even for 1/2 hour) made the extract quite bitter. After a lot of tries, I've found the best flavor (least bitter) to be achieved by barely simmering the bark at 180 to 190 degrees for about 30 minutes. I believe this would be comparable to percolating it. Then I remove the bark and strain the extract before boiling it down to about 1/3 the original amount. Now I add white sugar until syrup consistency is achieved (about 220 degrees at my altitude of 1000 feet above sea level.)
The flavor is good, and friends tell me they like it. I like it best on cornbread.
For a little different flavor, use some brown sugar in the mix.
Again, I still prefer the full flavor of HickoryWorks syrup. It seems there is a slight scent/flavor of oak-barrel in their syrup, and they do mention aging it. I have to hand it to them; they've done the research and experimentation to come up with a wonderful product.
Amishman, thanks for your details. As you probably know, the video on Hickoryworks site mentions using a huge commercial coffee pot; that concurs with your percolating suggestion. I doubt that we home experimenters can find a substitute for oak barrel aging though.
I know that some homebrewers and winemakers use oak chips in their aging process to immitate that flavor, you could throw a few oak chips into the brew and let it percolate. I have never tried in any of my brews or wines but have heard that it works well.
Hi, guys. 'Nutman' Pittman here.
While historically, the hickory syrup has been made by boiling down strips of hickory bark, I've never tried it that way - always had plenty of nice clean nutshell fragments available - often with little scraps of nutmeat still buried up in the grooves - and no bugs, lichens, or poison ivy rootlets, like you might find on bark pulled from trees out in the woods.
Mockernut(C.tomentosa) nuts and husks also work nicely - mockernut nuts are usually too thick and internally convoluted to make it worthwhile attempting to crack and pick them out, but they have a very rich flavor. I'll usually just crunch 'em a little with a pair of vise-grip pliers or my hardshell nutcracker and toss 'em in the pot - and mockernut husks usually tend to be a little bit 'cleaner' than most shagbark/shellbarks I gather - equivalent, I guess to really clean bark.
Some folks have 'tapped' walnuts to make syrup - and I suppose hickories, which are in the walnut family - would probably work as well; I know they 'bleed' like crazy if you prune at the wrong time, and sometimes, excessive bleeding is a problem when we're grafting pecans or hickories. But - I suspect that you'd need the same climatic conditions that favor the running of the sap in maple syrup country, and we just don't really get those here in southern KY.
I had no problem cleaning the bark, used hot water and a hard scrub brush. The bark is like a ROCK and scrubs clean just as easy. Even after the long boil it was as hard as a rock with no pieces in the water...guess that is why they use hickory as tool handles:)