If you can't make it to a cabane à sucre, fear not, we've got 9 ways to get your morning maple fix.
'maple syrup' on Serious Eats
I'll take my maple flavor baked in or drizzled over a pastry, but in my opinion, nothing tops the pleasure of pure, unadulterated maple syrup, served straight like the liquid gold it is.
The natural pectin in blueberries helps keep this pickled blueberry smooth, and the vinegar helps balance the sweetness of both the berries and the maple syrup. The combination of spices adds a complex punch to the senses.
Whoever designed the snack selection for my high school cafeteria had an interesting vision. "You know what we need to fuel the future minds of America?" he/she must have said to themselves. "Sealed crustless Smuckers PB&J sandwiches, Saltine crackers, cantaloupe-sized heat-and-serve cinnamon rolls, and those individual plastic cups of Quaker oatmeal."
The resulting jam is, quite honestly, one of the best I've ever made for this column. Thick, silky, and speckled with tiny chunks of blueberries, it has a pronounced maple flavor and is lightly scented with star anise, cinnamon, and vanilla.
From common courtesy if nothing else, I knew I had to make the mix. So I rolled up my sleeves and quieted my fears that these scones would be of the same ilk as the lame, confused, meaty-sweet treats that gave the bacon trend its death knell.
I was looking for a gift for my goddaughter in the young adult section of a bookstore a few years back and picked up some of the glossier spined novels that had recently been highly publicized or turned into popular primetime TV shows. I was appalled. Aghast. Shocked. Plus, I didn't know what some of the, ahem, maneuvers they were discussing even meant.
Maple syrup is one of those products of the human endeavor that make me glad we've ascended to where we have on the food chain. It embodies our communion with nature, because we have two parties to thank. The maple trees, of course, which tirelessly share sticky sap in forest cathedrals. And the flannel-clad men and women who fire great furnaces of transformation, who alchemize that sap into amber syrup.
By all accounts, applesauce is a humble food. But when prepared with the right ingredients it can still be exceptionally delicious. This version, made with maple syrup, brown sugar, and fresh cranberries, is downright dessert-worthy. Each bite tastes like it was swiped from the middle of a pie.
Maple syrup doesn't last long in my house. I like to "put it in my oatmeal" which, as a roommate once pointed out, means I'm actually floating an oatmeal island in a vast syrupy sea. When I learned about Grade B maple syrup I thought, "Well, here's my solution! If I have a more intensely flavored maple syrup, I'll use less of it." Ah, the sweet naiveté of youth...Yes, I'm still independently supporting the small farmers of Vermont. But Grade B maple syrup has been a revelation for other reasons—namely baking.
I love the combination of tart, juicy blueberries and caramelized, earthy maple syrup. This versatile conserve is a cinch to prepare, and would be wonderful over sweets like vanilla ice cream or pancakes, or savories like a wheel of baked brie.
These graham crackers are crunchy, toothsome, and just a smidge sweet. They really do taste like a punched-up version of the store-bought kind. The hints of walnuts and maple syrup make me want to slather them with cream cheese, but they would be equally delicious sandwiched with chocolate and marshmallows, or served in lieu of a biscuit with coffee or tea.
I knew that I wanted to include a hint of sea salt in my caramels. It really balances the sweetness and intensifies the butter taste. But I also wanted to flavor them with something else—something seasonal and unique. Maple syrup fit the bill. A generous half cup infused my caramels with pure, sweet, fall flavor. Each bite is salty, chewy, and full of maple sugar.