How to make "authentic Liège syrup"?
In the heart of the Liège region, on the Aubel plateau in the Pays de Herve, the Meurens have been running their family business for over 117 years, holders of the famous label "vrai sirop de Liège" (authentic Liège syrup).
Thick and gloopy in its enduring green and blue pot, it can be enjoyed simply on a slice of bread. It also goes perfectly with a cheese platter, including the famous Herve cheese (AOC), another one of the region's star products. It is also used as a culinary ingredient in marinades, sauces, dressings, salads and of course in desserts, especially on pancakes.
As for producing "authentic Liège syrup", this is done in three stages. Apples and pears harvested by farmers from Aubel, Saint-Trond and elsewhere are first crushed with a small quantity of dates, apricots and prunes and then cooked for one and a half hours, which results in a fruit compote. This is then pressed to extract the juice from it, which still needs to be filtered. The liquid obtained then passes through continuous evaporators. This makes it possible to concentrate 15,000 litres of juice in one hour and obtain around 2,000 kilos of concentrated juice. The gelling phase then takes place using pectin, one of the components of the apples. The syrup, cooled to 65°C, is finally pumped to the filling machine, which fills 250g, 300g, 450g and 900g containers at a rate of 2,000 to 5,000 pots an hour, an average of 35,000 pots a day.
What happens to the fruit pulp? It gets recycled! It is used for animal feed…