Sweet Ume Syrup Just Right For Summer Refreshment


Sweet ume syrup just right for summer refreshmentThe arrival of rainy season in June signals that ume, or Japanese apricots, are ready to pick.
Yoko Munakata of the Better Home Association shows how to make a ume syrup rich in polyphenol and citric acid.

High temperature and humidity may cause white bubbles or cloudiness in the jar, which can be prevented by extracting the juice as quickly as possible.

“The best way to draw out the extract fast is to use frozen ume,” says Munakata. When frozen, the water in the ume will crystalize and break the cell membrane.

If the sugar has not dissolved after a week, remove the ume, heat the sugar and keep the syrup in the refrigerator.

The sweet fruit can be enjoyed as is or made into jam.

INGREDIENTS

For about 400 cc of syrup:

500 grams green ume

500 grams sugar

METHOD

Rinse ume and wipe dry. Dig out stem end using bamboo skewer. Place in plastic bag and freeze for over 24 hours.

Pour boiling water on inner wall of jar (1.2-1.5 liters). Spray with alcohol and let dry naturally.

Place layer of ume, then layer of sugar in jar. Repeat. Put lid on. Sugar layer should come to the top and cover ume completely to prevent mold from growing.

Place in cool, dry place. If temperature is high, leave in room temperature for two days and when sugar has dissolved somewhat, move to vegetable compartment of fridge. Check extract daily and mix gently with clean spoon to help sugar dissolve. Repeat once a day for five to seven days. Ume should always be submerged in syrup.

When sugar has dissolved and ume has shriveled, remove the fruit. Move syrup in smaller jar and keep in refrigerator.

To make ume juice, mix syrup with four times the amount of water or carbonated water.

To make a thick milk drink, mix 1 to 2 Tbsp syrup with 1 cup milk.

To make ume jelly for four, sprinkle 1 bag gelatin powder (5 grams) in 2 Tbsp water, microwave for about 20 seconds until it melts. Mix 150 cc water with 100 cc ume syrup and mix in gelatin. Pour in four containers and cool in refrigerator until they set.

Estimated time to prepare: 15 minutes (10 minutes to prepare, 5 minutes to place in jar)

Nutritional information for ume juice (200 cc): kilocalories, about 210; sodium content, 0.0 grams; fat content, 0.1 grams