If you take a moment next time you are in the grocery store (or look in your pantry or fridge) to read the ingredients on pancake syrup bottles you will be shocked at what it contains. Chock full of corn syrup (which is GMO), artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives.
Yes, you can use maple syrup (only buy organic — non-organic can have chemicals added during processing) or agave syrup. I use organic agave syrup in the place of pancake syrup myself, but my kids prefer sugar syrup so while making pancakes I whip up a batch of homemade syrup. It only takes a few minutes and there are no GMO ingredients. I use organic cane sugar crystals myself. Did I mention that this syrup costs only pennies?
Combine in a small saucepan:
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 cup water
- 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
- dash of salt
Cover and allow to gently boil for a few minutes (the goal is to sweat any sugar crystals off of the side of the pan).
Uncover and allow to boil for a few more minutes. If you have a candy thermometer, boil until it reaches 225-230 degrees or a bit below Soft Ball Stage. Remove from heat; add 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract or any other extract you like (orange is nice). Stir. Pour into a serving container (glass measuring cups work great for a casual breakfast, or a pretty creamer). Use hot. Refrigerate leftovers.
Corn Syrup Substitute
This is a basic simple syrup above. For Corn Syrup Substitute, reduce the water to 3/4 cup, combine all of the ingredients and follow the same procedure. If you continue to boil until it reaches the Soft Ball Stage, you will have a healthier corn syrup substitute for recipes. I use this in pecan pie, fondant, any recipe that calls for corn syrup. Refrigerate unused portion.