Maple Syrup Recipes
Of course, your first meal of homemade maple syrup just has to be a big stack of pancakes! This is what you worked for all season and it tastes so good. After you’ve had your fill of flapjacks – and still have a pantry full of pure maple syrup – you’ll want to venture past the breakfast table.
Pure maple syrup can easily be used as a replacement for sugar but obviously it will impart a maple flavor to your dish. Generally, one cup of pure maple syrup equals one cup of sugar and can be swapped out in most recipes. For cookies and cakes that also use liquid ingredients, just reduce the liquids by three tablespoons for each cup of maple syrup used.
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Because sugar was scarce but sugar maple trees abundant in pioneer days, many of their sweet treats were made from maple syrup – and those recipes are still good today. Try some of these this year, you can use already-bottled syrup or make them during your initial boiling phase. Be sure, though, to calibrate your thermometer each time you boil syrup (click here for how to do that).
Granulated Maple Sugar. On a non-humid day, heat syrup to 252°F to 257°F (or 40°F to 45°F above the boiling point) and transfer immediately to a flat pan. Stir within this pan until it becomes granulated and all the moisture is gone. Sieve through a coarse screen (1/8-inch hardware screen) to create uniform granules. Use as a one-to-one white sugar replacement.
Hard Molded Sugar. Follow the same steps for granulated sugar but do not put through a screen. Instead pack into candy molds – be sure to follow the manufacturer’s directions on prepping and cleaning the molds.
Molded Soft Sugar Candy. Heat syrup to 245°F (or 33°F above the boiling point,) pour into a flat pan, and allow to cool undisturbed to 200°F but no lower than 160°F. Once it drops to this temperature, stir until the syrup is soft and pliable and pour or pack into molds. When cool, poured candies will have a glazed surface.
Hard Maple Sugar Candy. Boil the syrup to 240°F to 242°F (or 28°F to 30°F above the boiling point.) Keep at least 1½-inches of liquid in the pan to avoid scorching. Allow to cool to 150°F and pour or pack into molds.
Jack Wax or Maple-on-Snow. Kids will love this one! Start out by filling a pan with clean snow or shaved ice and keep frozen. The boiling range is wide for this treat: at the low end of 230°F (or 18°F above the boiling point) you’ll get a taffy-like candy while at the high end of 252°F (or 40°F above the boiling point) you’ll have a glass-like candy. Consistency changes within this temperature range. Once your syrup has reached your preferred temperature, immediately pour it in ribbons on the snow or ice. It will be done instantly and is typically eaten right away, as it does not keep well.
Maple Butter or Maple Cream. Add ¼ teaspoon of butter, cream, or oil (for dairy-free) to approximately 2 cups of pure maple syrup and boil to 236°F (or 24°F over the boiling point.) While it’s boiling, fill a large bowl with ice and water. When the batch reaches the proper temperature, set the entire pot in the ice bath – do not stir or let water lap over edge. When it’s cooled to room temperature, remove from the ice bath and stir slowly with a wooden spoon until it turns opaque and becomes the consistency of peanut butter. Store in the refrigerator. Note that not all syrups will work for maple cream – light colored syrups work best.