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Traditional Belgian 'SIROP DE LIEGE'...how do I reproduce it!

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I travel to Brussels every now and then and frequent a restaurant called The Belga Queen. They usually have a dish with this apple and pear syrup...over meatballs served in a cast iron pot. I once had it over what was presented as a little piggy too.

For the life of me I can't find a recipe on how to make this syrup, and any info that I DO find usually mentions something about it being super-top-secret-only to a certain region of Belgium. From my translations and research it seems father difficult to make.

There is a (non-us) company that makes in a jar, but I don't feel like mail ordering and paying out of the nose for this.

I'm not sure the rules on posting links, but if you google it, you'll see what I mean.

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  1. Update, I have begun searching in other languages and translating and came up with this..seems too simple to me.

    As a complete novice, can someone tell me what a press stamen is or dummify up the process? Anyway for me to McGuyver this?

    ngredients: + / - 1 kg syrup

    * 2 kg de pommes 2 kg of apples
    * 6 kg de poires 6 kg of pears

    Préparation du sirop de Liège Prepare syrup Liege

    * Laver les pommes et les poires. Wash apples and pears. Ne les pelez pas et coupez-les en quatre. Do not peel and cut them into four. Versez le tout dans une grande casserole et laissez cuire à feu doux pendant 4 heures. Pour everything in a large pot and cook over low heat for 4 hours.
    * Au bout de ce temps, dès que la préparation tombe en bouillie, passez-la à travers une étamine en pressant bien le tout de manière à en extraire un maximum de jus. After that time, as soon as the preparation falls boiled, run it through a press stamen well together in order to extract maximum juice.
    * Versez le jus ainsi obtenu dans la bassine et faites réduire en sirop durant 3 heures : la masse doit être épaisse et bien brillante. Pour the juice resulting in the basin and reduce syrup for 3 hours: the mass must be thick and glossy. Pour vérifier l'état de cuisson, versez une goutte de sirop dans un bol d'eau froide. To check the status of cooking, add a drop of syrup in a bowl of cold water. Si la goutte reste bien consistante, la cuisson est terminée. If gout remains consistent, cooking is complete.
    * Versez immédiatement dans des pots en grès ou de verre préalablement ébouillantés et soigneusement séchés. Immediately in pots earthenware or glass previously scalded and carefully dried. Conservez au frais, de préférence dans une cave. Keep in a cool place, preferably in a cellar.


    Matériel : Hardware:

    * Une grande bassine à confiture A large basin to jam
    * Une écumoire A skimmer
    * Un couteau A knife
    * Une étamine A stamen
    * Une passoire ou une moulinette A sieve or blender
    * Des pots en grès de préférence Stoneware pots are preferred

    1. It seems to be a fine mesh sieve. I'm sure you already had that figured out. As you are making a syrup, I'm sure it's probably meant to be a clear syrup rather than a cloudy one, as best can be done. Anything that would strain out the fine particles, then, would be the idea. Jelly bags, or fine cheesecloth, or washed, unbleached muslim would do the trick.

      AnnieG

      5 Replies
      1. re: violabratsche

        Okay, curiosity killed the cat, but not me....I had to search, and this is what I found:

        http://www.chefsimon.com/divers.htm

        (on the right, down the page about 2/5, below the thermometer

        )

        Here's another
        http://www.chefsimon.com/panier.htm

        AnnieG

        1. re: violabratsche

          Thanks, actually its not clear, very dark. and it hit my novice brain last night that a cheese cloth would be good.

          (I have not read the links yet) however, any suggestions? Should I add a little sugar halfway through?

          How about when reducing it, should I cover it?

          1. re: RPMcMurphy

            I'm thinking this way...I make boiled cider, which is just apple squeezin's, boiled down to a thick syrup. It sure doesn't need a grain of sugar. It's plenty sweet on it's own. I don't bother about trying to clarify it, but I'm sure it could be well strained before I started the boiling. It's wonderful to replace other syrups, such as on pancakes....
            The one mistake I ever made with it was wanting to take it too far, and the natural sugars started to caramelize on me. It was fine, but tasted a little burnt. Didn't bother me, I like that taste, but I'm more careful, now.

            ...oops, missed that point...to reduce it, you want the steam to cook off...so, lid off, or at least tipped so that the steam can escape.
            ...another missed point...watch that 3 hour's boiling...if you have dry fruit, it can be a LOT less..

            AnnieG

            1. re: violabratsche

              Perfect. thanks.

              All in all it seems more time consuming than complicated....I'm going to have to give it a try this weekend.

            2. re: RPMcMurphy

              Here in Canada at least cheesecloth is labeled in French as "étamine."

        2. Wish me luck, I have 2 stock pots of pears apples and some dates on the stove as i type.....they are almost 4 hours in on Low at the moment.....after being made fun of at the grocery store for buying 13lbs of pears..

          10 Replies
          1. re: RPMcMurphy

            You don't do things by halves, do you?
            GOOD FOR YOU!!
            I hope it turns out the way you want it to.

            AnnieG

            1. re: violabratsche

              came out amazing!!!! just like the restaurant!!! have a whole jar of sauce left over as well!!!! Didn't have time or a deep fryer to do my own belgian fries, so I just threw a box of Ms. Pauls sweet potatoes in the oven as a side. Next time I'll choose a less sweet side as the whole meal could have given me a cavity! My girlfriend likes the sauce, but didn't care for the sauce over the meatballs, something about a sweet sauce over meat for her....

              20lbs of fruit and about 9 hours for a 14oz jar of sauce, and every bit was worth it.

              1. re: RPMcMurphy

                LOL...good to hear...congratulations!
                I thought the original recipe, with that amount of fruit, was supposed to give you a liter of syrup....that's about 1/2 that.
                Anyway, I'm glad that you managed to recreate the syrup!

                AnnieG

                1. re: violabratsche

                  due to no more room left in 2 stock pots, I had to leave out a few lbs of fruit.

                  also, my archaic straining/pressing could have yielded more had I the proper tools...ah well, I'm happy (although straining was messy!)

                  1. re: RPMcMurphy

                    I have a huge 36 quart pot. Can the pears and apples be cooked together? Is a sugar substitute an option or is it just as good without the additional sugar added?

                    1. re: K T

                      sure, i'd actually recommend cooking them together, throw some dates in there too.

                      no need for additional sugar, its sweet enough!

                      with that big of a stock pot though, you're going to need A LOT of fruit, and it imagine straining, etc. etc. is going to be tough, maybe break it into two smaller pots like I did?

                      with that big of a pot. it imagine carmelizing the fruit is going to take quite a while and the key is to do it on low heat.

                      but I've never worked with such a big pot before.

                      i used an 8 quart or 6 quart (i cant remember) and a 12 quart, then after I strained, i just used the smaller pot.

                      1. re: RPMcMurphy

                        I only have an 8 quart pot besides the 36 quart stock pot. I'm wondering if I could cook it all in the big one and strain into the small one.

                        1. re: RPMcMurphy

                          There is a company that reduces pure juice to a 4 to 1 concentrate - the consistancy & color of maple syrup. It costs $39 for 1 gallon of pear & 1 quart of apple. Do these sound similar to the syrup you made?

                          1. re: K T

                            not sure to be honest, I don't think there is a real easy way out,....

                            if your going to buy it, then just buy the finished "sirop de liege" (google it)

                            1. re: RPMcMurphy

                              Hi,

                              I am so excited to see this, I have family in Belgium and I've eaten this stuff since I was little, and I've been thinking about making it.

                              Just one question, do you have to regularly stir it, does it ever burn in the bottom of the pan?

                              Thanks!

                              Alexia