I suppose most of you will be surprised seeing eggplants served as a sweet. I know that my Greek friends have eaten or heard of melitzanaki glyko. I had to share with you a twist I made to this traditional recipe, in which I added grenadine, not only for the lovely taste, but also to give a lovely colour to the eggplant, which if left as it is will have a green colour. For those of you who have never heard of grenadine, it is a syrup made with pomegranate. This time I did not have time to make my own grenadine from scratch but when I return I intend to make some.
Making fruit preserves or “spoon sweets” as we call them in Greece is not as difficult as it looks. The basic procedure is almost the same for all spoon sweets. We need the same amount of fruit or vegetable and sugar and some water and we boil it until the fruit is cooked and the syrup is ready.
To make this spoon sweet we need very small eggplants around 8 – 12 cm long. They should first be peeled, but make sure to wear gloves, as your hands will become black and it’s difficult to wash it off. Then after soaking them in lime they need to be washed well and an almond and a clove should be inserted in each eggplant.
Once we add the sugar we should avoid stirring it with a spoon but it is better to toss the saucepan until the sugar melts. Later on we can gently stir it with a wooden spoon until it is cooked. While it starts boiling, some froth may form on top but just ignore it as it will go away. You just have to be careful as it boils as the syrup may overflow.
I did not have a recipe for this spoon sweet, so I just made it from what I already know about spoon sweets. The only thing that I will change when I make it again will be to add more sugar and water as the syrup was not enough to cover the spoon sweet, so next day I had to make extra syrup with grenadine to add on top.
Glyko Melitzanaki me Grenadini (Eggplant with Grenadine Spoon Sweet), Recipe by Ivy
- about 45 minutes to peel them
- 2 hours to rest in the lime
- 15 minutes for washing them
- about 30 minutes to add the almonds and the cloves
- about 30 minutes for sugar to melt
Cooking time: about 45 minutes
Makes: about 60
- 2 kilos small eggplants
- 2 kilos sugar
- 1 cup lime
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- 60 almonds blanched and roasted
- 60 cloves
- 1 ½ cups of water
- 1 cup grenadine
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- 1 cinnamon stick
(Note: increase sugar and water by two more cups)
- Remove the stem from the eggplant and with a vegetable peeler, remove the skin.
- Fill a large basin with water and dissolve the lime. Put the eggplants in the water and let them rest for about two hours. Add something heavy on top, as they will float.
- Wash them well, many times and then put them in the basin again with fresh water and the lemon juice. Let them rest for 1 hour.
- After straining them, with a sharp knife make a small slit in the middle of the eggplant and push the almond inside. Put a clove where the stem was.
- Put them in a large saucepan and after each layer add some sugar to cover them. Repeat until you add all the eggplants and the sugar.
- Add the water with a spoon so that you will wet the sugar well. Leave it for half an hour so that the sugar will melt.
- When we are sure that the sugar has melted, we bring it to a boil and simmer for 15 minutes. We leave it to rest in the syrup overnight.
- Next day remove the eggplants with a slotted spoon into a strainer and add the grenadine to the syrup. Bring it to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Put the eggplants back into the saucepan, this time removing the cloves but adding some in the syrup. Add the cinnamon stick and bring to a boil again. Simmer for about 20 minutes and to check if the eggplants are cooked you can poke them with a thin skewer.
- Finally add the lemon juice and mix.
- Leave them in the saucepan to cool completely before storing in clean and sterilized jars.
If you liked this see other relevant posts:
Glyko Kerassi (Cherry Spoon Sweet)
Glyko Karpouzi (Water Melon)
Glyko Nerantzi (Bitter oranges)
Glyko Bergamonto (Bergamot)
Glyko Vyssino (Sour cherries)
Glyko Karydaki (green immature walnuts)
Glyko Kydoni me amygdala (Quince with almonds)
Glyko Kydoni me kastana (Quince with chestnuts)
Glyko Milo (Apples)