What a delightful Greek custom! People make spoon sweets and offer them to guests as a symbol of hospitality along with a glass of cold water. Why are they called spoon sweets? Because the serving size is a well-filled teaspoon! What a sweet way to say “Welcome”!

Serves: for 2-3 large jars Prep. time: 40′ + 24 hours waiting time Cooks in: 60′ Ready in: 1:40′

1 kg baby eggplants (approximately 50 pieces), washed, carefully peeled
750 g granulated sugar
3 cups water
½ cup honey
3 lemons, juiced
50 whole raw white almonds
1 stick cinnamon
7 cloves

Step 1
Make an incision in every baby eggplant big enough to fit one raw almond and put them in a large bowl. Cover with water and stir in the juice of 2½ lemons. Put a large plate for weight, to keep eggplants under water. Leave for 1 hour.

Step 2
Drain eggplants and boil in large pot with plenty of water for 15 minutes or until tender. Drain and transfer in a large bowl filled with water for 3 hours, changing the water 2-3 times in the meantime.

Step 3
Drain and leave in the colander for 6 hours. Transfer on a clean tea tower and allow to dry for 1 hour. Insert one almond in every incision.

Step 4
Boil sugar with water in a large pot for 5 minutes. Add baby eggplants and simmer on low heat for 10 minutes. Turn down heat and leave eggplants in the syrup for 12 hours.

Step 5
The next day, bring the pot to a boil adding honey, remaining lemon juice and cloves. Boil until syrup thickens. Remove pan from heat and allow spoon sweet to cool a little. Pour or ladle baby eggplants and syrup in warm, clean, sterilized jars. Fully-fill jars and seal straight away.

Photo: George Drakopoulos – Food styling: Tina Webb

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