- 1 vanilla bean
- 2 cups vegan sugar
- 1 and 1/2 cups water
- 1/3 cup fresh-squeezed lemon juice*
- 1 tablespoon vegan brown sugar
2. Cut the vanilla bean in half lengthwise, and scrape out the seeds with a knife. Add the seeds and the vanilla bean to the sugar mixture, stirring gently. Cool to room temperature.
3. Transfer the syrup (and the vanilla bean) to a glass container. Cover and chill. The syrup will last up to 1 month in the fridge.
Here are just a couple of ways to try it: drizzled over vegan vanilla ice cream, which made the ice cream taste more like lemon gelato:
And over pancakes, where it was a lighter, subtler alternative to maple syrup, but perhaps not quite as indulgent:
*Strain the lemon juice through a fine-mesh sieve after you squeeze out your lemons, to get rid of any pulp and keep the syrup perfectly smooth.
18 servings (2 tablespoons), Calories 89
I found the lemon flavor to be a bit overwhelming, and would decrease the amount of lemon juice next time. And although it might sound sacrilegious in a recipe that relies on a beautiful whole vanilla bean, I would sneak in a little vanilla extract to enhance the vanilla flavor. The syrup was not, therefore, quite what I was expecting, although still yummy.
Update: this syrup gets better with time. After about a week, the lemon juice mellowed, and the vanilla flavor soared, at which point I enjoyed it more over pancakes and also slices of Amy's orange cake (available in the freezer section of the grocery store). Another enjoyable use for the syrup - because of the bright lemon taste - is as a sweetener in iced tea.