Fruit syrups are a snap to make and add great flavor to many dishes. Serve this lovely strawberry syrup with yogurt or ice cream, drizzled on cake; or add a splash to cold sparkling water for a refreshing warm-weather beverage.
Combine the water and sugar in a medium saucepan, and add the vanilla bean pod and the seeds. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Reduce the heat to medium and add the strawberries. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the berries are very soft. Remove the pan from the heat and let cool for 30 minutes.
Remove the vanilla bean pod (rinse and reserve for another use). Place a fine mesh sieve over a clean bowl and strain the syrup, pressing lightly against the solids in the strainer to extract as much syrup as possible. Don’t press too hard or you’ll force the pulp into the syrup, which will make it cloudy. Stir in the lemon juice.
Sterilize a glass bottle and lid. Pour the warm syrup into the bottle and seal. The finished syrup can be refrigerated for up to 3 weeks.