This Buttermilk Syrup Recipe will be a favorite pancake topper before you know it.
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Ever reached for the maple syrup to drizzle on a stack of pancakes and realized you were out? You won’t panic if you have buttermilk — and a little sugar and butter. Northeastern states that produce their own maple syrup don’t have much history with buttermilk syrup, but I hear that farm wives across the Midwest made it to top pancakes, waffles, split and buttered biscuits, and more. It’s a simple mixture based on butter, brown sugar and buttermilk, and it tastes kind of like butterscotch. The high proportion of fat from the butter stops the buttermilk from separating when you start to boil it, and a little baking soda mellows it into mildness. The mixture will foam up a lot when you add the baking soda, so be sure to start with a deep saucepan. Cooking it for several minutes turns the pale blond syrup into caramelized goodness. Stir and watch the whole time to be sure that it doesn’t get too dark. Yields 2 cups.
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
1 cup buttermilk
2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon baking soda
Pinch of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Place the butter and brown sugar in a large saucepan over medium heat. Stir until just melted, then add the buttermilk, honey, baking soda and salt. Stir vigorously; the mixture will foam up and then start to subside, but it will stay foamy and bubbly as you cook it.
Lower the heat slightly and cook, stirring constantly, for 4 to 6 minutes, until the syrup is a golden caramel color. Be careful not to let it get too brown.
Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Let cool completely in pan, stirring now and then to reduce the foam and clear the syrup. Store tightly covered in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
Buttermilk Syrup recipe from The Animal Farm Buttermilk Cookbook: Recipes and Reflections from a Small Vermont Dairy by Diane St. Clair (Andrews McMeel Publishing, 2013).