Maple syrup recipes and food ideas
Recipes include: Maple-Walnut Sauce, Maple Caramelized Apples and French Toast
March is maple syrup season in New Hampshire. What better time to visit a sugarhouse and learn how maple syrup is made? And maybe take some time to learn a little bit about some of the history of this sweet treat.
Many sugarhouses across the state will welcome visitors on Maple Weekend, March 24-25, 2018. It is a great opportunity for children to get up close and personal with one of their favorite breakfast (or anytime) treats. Sugaring operations, large and small, will open their doors to the public and you can watch farmers boil the sap down to syrup. While some give simple tours, others provide enough activities for a full morning or afternoon of family fun.
Activities are varied and wide and include horse-drawn sleigh rides, a chance to visit a farmer’s goats or sheep, cross-country skiing or snowshoeing and more. And you won’t go hungry. Some farms serve all-day pancake feasts while others serve donuts, maple cotton candy, sugar-on-snow and coffee brewed from maple sap. There will be plenty of samples to taste as well as syrup and maple candy to buy and bring home.
More than 100 sugarhouses are participating in Maple Weekend. You can find the list of sugarhouses and information at nhmapleproducers.com.
A wonderful sweet treat, add a generous spoonful of Maple-Walnut Sauce to vanilla ice cream for the best sundae ever.
Makes about 2 1/2 cups
1 c. maple syrup
1/2 c. firmly packed dark-brown sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 c. heavy cream
1T. pure vanilla extract
1 c. roughly chopped walnuts, toasted
In a large skillet, combine the maple syrup, sugar, salt and cream. Cook over medium heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Increase the heat to medium-high and cook until sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla, butter and walnuts.
Serve warm or at room temperature with vanilla ice cream.
The sauce will keep covered in the refrigerator for 1 week.
Maple Caramelized Apples
This sauce turns ordinary waffles or French toast (and an ordinary morning) into something very special.
1 1/2 T. unsalted butter
2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and sliced
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/3 c. maple syrup
Melt butter in a large sauté pan over medium heat; add apples, sprinkle with cinnamon and cook, stirring often, for about 5 minutes. Add maple syrup and continue cooking for 5 minutes or until apples are bubbly and tender.
Serve apples warm over the French toast or waffles. Or, yes, over ice cream!
If you can find it, soft and sweet brioche is a wonderful choice for French toast.
2 large eggs
1/2 c. half and half
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
4 thick slices brioche or country bread
Put eggs, half and half, spices and vanilla in shallow bowl. Gently whisk together.
Add bread slices to the egg mixture. Make sure the first side is well coated with the egg mixture before flipping the bread and coating the second side completely. Let bread sit for a few minutes to absorb the liquid.
Heat a griddle or large sauté pan over medium heat. Add enough butter to lightly coat the griddle. Carefully lay bread slices on the hot griddle and cook until golden on both sides, about 3 minutes per side.
Serve immediately with warm Maple Caramelized Apples.
Susan Nye writes for several New England magazines and newspapers. She shares stories and recipes on her blog Around the Table at susannye.wordpress.com.