The phrase “spoon sweets” sounds a bit peculiar in English, but it’s the actual translation of the Greek phrase Gluka tou koutaliou. The phrase gave its name to a category of “sweets” that are served and eaten with (you guessed it) a “spoon”. It includes fruits (but also vegetables) that are slowly cooked with water and sugar. The fruits are picked when in season, and large quantities of spoon sweet are prepared. They are then carefully stored in jars, and last all year-round, until the fruits are in season again. As the fruits slowly cook in the sugary syrup, they release their natural sweetness and their flavours intensify. The result is quite flavourful, so usually a small spoon is enough to satisfy your sweet cravings. In the past, every guest was greeted with Greek coffee and a small plate of spoon sweet.
So this week, as the market was full of grapes, we decided to go ahead and make Gluko tou koutaliou stafyli (grape spoon sweet). For this, select the larger grapes, as they will better hold their shape. And we used seedless grapes.
Makes 2 jars
zest of 1 lemon
1 tbsp lemon juice
Greek yoghurt (to serve)
Carefully remove the grapes from the vine and wash under cold running water. Drain well and place in a large pot with the water, sugar, lemon juice and zest. Bring to the boil, without stirring. Then immediately turn the heat to the lowest setting and stir carefully so that the grapes are mixed with the sugar syrup.
Cook, half-covered, for 54min to one hour. To test if the spoon sweet is ready, take a tablespoon of the syrup and place it in a small plate. Let it cool and run your finger through it, to create a line. If the syrup stays in place, then you are done.
Remove from the hob and let it cool.
Store is glass jars and keep in the fridge.
Serve with Greek yoghurt!