Grape spoon sweets

Grape spoon sweets

By
From
The Islands of Greece
Makes
800 g preserve
Photographer
Steven Joyce

Spoon sweets, stafili gliko, fruits or occasionally nuts preserved in syrup, are often served alongside the bill at the end of a meal in a Greek restaurant or as a treat if you are a guest in someone’s home. They are called spoon sweets because they are served on a tiny spoon, alongside a glass of water. They are also good with yoghurt, on hot buttered toast or even with strong cheese. Many of the islands have their own special spoon sweets: on Chios, a white spoon sweet is made from the island’s famous resin, mastic, while on Ikaria sour cherries or walnuts are used. Naxos’ speciality is quince and Santorini’s is made from almonds. This is a slightly simplified version of the traditional recipe.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
500g caster sugar
1/2 lemon, juiced
500g seedless grapes

Method

  1. Sterilise enough tempered glass jam jars to comfortably fit about 800 g grape preserve, by rinsing in boiling water or placing in a low oven for 15 minutes.
  2. Place the sugar and lemon juice in a large non-reactive pan, pour in 250 ml water and bring to the boil. As it comes to the boil, stir gently to ensure all the sugar is dissolved, otherwise small crystals will remain in the syrup.
  3. Boil until the syrup reaches 110ºC on a jam thermometer, which will take anywhere from 10–20 minutes. Keep an eye on the pan and stir frequently to prevent it boiling over. (To check if the preserve has reached setting point without a thermometer, place a saucer in the freezer. When the mixture has been boiling for 5 minutes or so, drop a tiny bit of the syrup on the saucer. Leave for 30 seconds, then tilt the saucer. If the syrup runs straight across the surface, setting point hasn’t been reached. If it doesn’t run, the preserve has set.)
  4. Continue to boil for 5 minutes. Don’t let it get too hot or the sugar in the jam will reach candy setting point, which will make it very hard to get out of the pan or jars.
  5. Place the fruit into the syrup mixture and simmer for 15 minutes. Allow to cool slightly and pour into the sterilised jam jars. Seal the tops with wax paper to prevent mould forming, then secure the lids. Keep in a cool, dark place for up to 2 months.
Tags:
The Islands of Greece
Rebecca
Seal
Greek
Greece
Europe
European
Mediterranean
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