Help! Can We Rescue This Crystallized Sugar Syrup?

updated May 3, 2019
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(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

This weekend, we made a big batch of sugar cane syrup for some candy-making experiments. We used some of it right away without problems, but the leftovers crystallized into the cloudy, gritty mass you see in the jar above. Any hope of rescuing it?

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Sugar is notoriously fussy to work with and prone to re-crystallizing at the least provocation. We followed all the proper procedures for handling sugar (at least we think we did!): we used clean metal spoons, we didn’t stir it after the sugar melted, and we brushed down the sides of the pot with water.

The only thing that we can think of is that the syrup was still too hot when we transferred it to the glass jars. We used a measuring cup to scoop it into the jars, and maybe this was enough agitation to cause the sugar to re-crystallize.

We only took this syrup to the soft-ball stage – about 240-degrees. We’ve heard that it’s possible to bring back sugar by adding more water if it hasn’t been heated above 293-degrees, but we’re not sure this applies to sugar that’s already cooled and crystallized.

We’re definitely amateurs when it comes to sugar work and candy making, so we’d love to get some advice on this. Is there any way to salvage our jars of syrup? Or something we should do differently next time?

Related: Un-Gift Guide 2007: Homemade Candy

(Image: Emma Christensen for the Kitchn)