How Sweet It Is: Maple Syrup Recipes
Tasty ideas using tree-tapped maple syrup.
Maple syrup might be the essential ingredient for flapjacks and waffles, but its utility extends far beyond the breakfast table. In its purest and most potent state, you have maple candy, and "sugar on snow," a traditional treat that doesn't even require a kitchen. Heat syrup to 232 degrees Fahrenheit, then drizzle the amber liquid over shaved ice, then twist it on a spoon until it becomes a gooey, caramel mouthful of taffy. There are also plenty of other ways to enjoy one of nature's sweetest creations. We asked some of our staff and contributors to volunteer their favorite recipes. From food writer Mark Bittman's homemade granola to a Vermont sugar maker's mint maple julep, these offerings span the cookbook.
From Mark Bittman, author of How to Cook Everything
6 cups rolled oats (not quick-cooking or instant)
2 cups mixed nuts and seeds: a combination of sunflower seeds, chopped walnuts, pecans, almonds, cashews, sesame seeds, etc.
1 cup shredded coconut (optional)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, or to taste
1/2 to 1 cup maple syrup or honey, or to taste
1 cup raisins or chopped dried fruit
1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a bowl, combine the oats, nuts and seeds, the coconut if you're using it, cinnamon, salt, and sweetener. Spread evenly on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes or a little longer, stirring occasionally. The mixture should brown evenly; the browner it gets without burning, the crunchier the granola will be.
2. Remove the pan from the oven and add the raisins. Cool on a rack, stirring gradually until the granola reaches room temperature. Transfer to a sealed container and store in the refrigerator; it will keep indefinitely.
Peanut Butter Granola Any nut butter or tahini will work nicely here; toss in some chocolate chips if you like very sweet granola. Add 1/2 cup peanut butter and mix with the 1/2 cup maple syrup or honey until blended. Proceed with the recipe; stir the granola every few minutes while it's baking to prevent the peanut butter from burning.
Spiced Granola Add another teaspoon of ground cinnamon, 1 teaspoon of ground ginger, 1/2 teaspoon each of ground anise and cardamom, 1/4 teaspoon each of freshly grated nutmeg and ground cloves, and 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract.
Ginger-Molasses Granola Crumbled gingersnaps are a great addition to this. Substitute molasses for half of the sweetener and add a 1- to 2-inch piece fresh ginger, grated into the sweetener. Add 1/4 cup chopped crystallized ginger along with the raisins.
From David Seideman, Editor-in-Chief, Audubon
Source: Apple Cookbook, by Olwen Woodier (Storey Publishing)
(Yield: 6 to 8 servings.)
1 cup granola
1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
4 large apples (Winesap, Ida Red, Northern Spy, Braeburn)
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Grease a deep, two-quart baking dish.
2. In a medium-sized bowl, combine the granola, oats, sugar, walnuts, and cinnamon. Using your fingers, blend the butter into the mixture.
3. Peel, core, and cut the apples into 1/4-inch slices. Place in the baking dish and sprinkle with the maple syrup and lemon juice.
4. Cover completely with the granola mixture and bake for 40 minutes, or until the apples are tender when pierced. Serve warm with ice cream, if desired.