I had a bit of a do-it-yourself victory this week in the kitchen after finding a package of pearl barley at the back of the pantry. The children love that special lemon and barley drink you can buy in the supermarket and I decided to try making my own syrup. And also very satisfying, I followed Jenny's recipe to make a multi-purpose spray cleaner for around the kitchen, which is proving very useful indeed. In the past I've also used Hanna's one, which is also brilliant.
Because we have a very generous lemon tree, my recipe is for quite a large batch of this syrup- but you could easily scale it down. I bottled mine in sterilised jars that sealed so I'm thinking it should last a while in the pantry, and I have some to give away, too. And the kids are happy- it only takes a tiny slurp in the bottom of a glass of water to make lemonade, and is even nicer as hot drink. Hooray!
Lemon and Barley Syrup
You will need: 250 grams pearl barley, 400 grams sugar, about 20 lemons or other citrus (or enough to make 500mls lemon juice), 3 or 4 clean jars or bottles.
Wash the barley in hot water and rinse a few times. Place it in a medium saucepan with about 5 cups of water, and the peeled rind of 3 or 4 lemons. Bring to the boil, then reduce heat and simmer for about half an hour.
Meanwhile, juice and strain all the citrus fruit into another saucepan, then heat gently. Tip in the sugar and stir until it is completely dissolved.
Using a sieve, strain the cooked barley and peel over a bowl (you might have to do so in batches) then add the liquid to the lemon and sugar mixture.
Wash and dry your bottles or jars, and place them in a warm oven for 20 minutes or so. I also boil the lids in a small saucepan of water for a few minutes. Pour the hot syrup into your bottles and seal.