A spruce tip by itself will pack a powerful, almost uncomfortable, punch! Although the spruce tip flavor profile is expectedly piney, tasters might be surprised by the range of its profile. Most tips definitely offer a crisp, citrusy, and herbaceous flavor. However, most consumers fail to anticipate the slightly sweet taste this plant also has to offer. Experienced gatherers are quick to note that tip flavors vary immensely, even from tree to tree.
Gathering & Storing
Fresh spruce tips come in a spectrum of green to yellow hues and are in season near late spring, with later blooming in cooler climates. Tips are soft, flexible, and with a bit of resin on the branch. Often they are shedding the papery brown sheath that once encased them. A sheath still attached indicates the tip is young; the sheath should be removed before any cooking or preserving preparations. They can be stored for about one month in a cool, dry environment such as the refrigerator. Alternatively, they can be dried or processed as a syrup, but the future usage options are tremendously limited after these processes.
Preservation & Consumption
Few things get me more excited than a nice chewy gingerbread treat - and this cookie does just that! A carefully calculated substitution of ginger-honey infused bourbon for the required liquids in this recipe, yields soft, booze infused ginger cookies. Domaine de Canton French Ginger Liqueur spiked home-made whipped cream is the perfect compliment to these bourbon baked goodies. Simply whip equal parts Domaine's de Canton, honey syrup, and fresh cream until unassisted peaks form. If you're feeling exceptionally frisky, top these desserts with finely brittled ginger sugar for a textural component that is sure to delight your guests.
A Betty (by a broad definition) is honest and brave, loyal and nurturing, witty and fun. She's balanced, quirky, open-minded, complex, and flawed. She's soulful and driven. And I think there's a little Betty in all of us.