Recipes & Things To Do With Maple Sugar
Friday, March 8, 2013
We can say one thing for certain, NH, we know our maple!
It's maple season here in NH, and I put a call out to Facebook fans for delectable recipes and sweet things to do with maple sugar and maple syrup! Along with mouth-watering recipes for Maple Pecan Cheesecake and Maple Baked Pears, we collected a great list of traditional and creative uses for the sugary tree-nectar, as well as a little bit of history!
Facebook fan, Lindsay, commented: "The Native Americans started harvesting it before European settlers showed up. Fun fact: production of maple syrup is one of the few North American agricultural processes that is not a colonial import." This was so interesting; I couldn't help but look further! Indeed, Lindsay is correct! I spent some time perusing histories on sugarhouse web pages. Nestled within the tapping and boiling procedures, was terrific history and Indian lore. I even found a quote from a 1685 British Royal Society newspaper recounting Native American sugaring processes: "in the time that the sap rises, in the Maple, make an incision in the Tree, by which it runs out; and after they have evaporated eight pounds of the liquor, there remains one pound as sweet ...." To further my learning, I discovered that the Native Americans began trading "sweetwater" with the Europeans, and that Europe is unlikely to begin a large maple syrup production, because their weather is not generally conducive to significant sap yields.
I am now a breakfast aficionado!
When I was young, my dad use to jokingly refer to pancakes, French toast, and the like as "syrup delivery foods." The idea that the food is not as important as the condiment is still hilarious... but also... true? I think we should let the evidence speak for itself... when polled, NH.com Facebook fans fervently rejoined our quest for maple foods. From candy, to seafood, to starch and meat, it seems we're just about ready to enhance any food with the saccharine goodness of maple syrup!
Facebook Fan Favorite Maple Uses:
I put it in on snow.-Donna
I really like maple syrup.-Michelle
Whole-wheat buttermilk pancakes!-Louanne
Mashed sweet potatoes, syrup and bit of butter YUMMO-Donna
Most creative maple syrup uses:
I have a maple flavored something that is amazing... but I didn't make it. Cabin Fever Whiskey. Made right here in NH. Who ever thought of that was a genius. -Lisa
I use it in my homemade granola.-Jean
I have friends that bake almost exclusively with b grade instead of sugar.-Katie
Added to coffee! Sooo good & when I make salsa I use it to calm the heat down a bit!!-Rebecca
The perfect condiment... Sometimes Its goods just by itself... or a squirt or two into your coffee.-Maurice
Cotton candy & Salad Dressing!-Jennifer
Putting it in oatmeal, dipping any kind of breakfast meat in it, BBQ sauces, baked goods and when I was little I would take a swig out of the bottle... Oh who am I kidding? I'm 31, and I still swig out of the bottle lol!-Lindsay
Fill mini ice cube trays with it, cover with wax paper loosely and freeze with toothpicks poking through the wax paper - use as handles.-Spike
I add it to ice cream with walnuts.-Sarah
Glazed chicken. Over oatmeal. In tea. BBQ sauce. Maple-nut muffins. As a laxative!!!-Diane
Maple taffy! Maple syrup pie!!! Yummy.-Jean
A little splash in my home made Vegetable Soup! Yummo! When I was a kid we would put it on gathered fresh fallen snow!-Miriam
"Delivery food" or not, there sure are a lot of foods that benefit from a glossy maple glaze! It makes a snazzy sugar substitute, and even a great baking ingredient! Below are recipes for Maple Pecan Cheesecake and Maple Baked pears from two of our Facebook fans! Enjoy these treats and feel free to leave more yummy maple recipes and favorite delivery-foods in the comment section below!!!
And don't forget to check out our Maple Sugar Page with an interactive Map of all the Maple Sugar Weekend events in the state!!!
Maple Pecan Cheesecake-Kim
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (almost 1 pkg crushed whole graham crackers)
3/4 Stick butter, melted ( 5 1/2 Tablespoons)
1/2 cup finely chopped pecans
1 teaspoon real maple syrup
Mix crumbs and pecans well, Mix syrup with melted butter. Slowly drizzle in to the crumb mixture. Press in bottom of 10 inch spring form pan. Bake at 450 for 5 minutes. Wrap bottom of pan tightly with foil and place in a larger pan with about 1/2 inch of water. (prevents cracking during baking)
4-8 ounce packages cream cheese, room temperature
3 Tablespoons flour
1 cup pure maple syrup
1 cup creme fraiche (or sour cream)
1 whole vanilla bean, opened and knife scrape out the tidbits inside.
Beat cream cheese with mixer. Add the eggs and beat well. Add the creme fraiche (or sour cream) and vanilla bean. Mix well. Pour into the prepared pan. Slowly drizzle a bit of syrup onto cake if desired. it will sink in and give an extra zip if you have a sweet tooth. Bake at 500 for a full 10 minutes, turn oven down to 200 and bake about 1 hour and 40 min, or until a thermometer reads 150 degrees. Remove from oven and carefully run a knife or spatula around the inside edge of pan to loosen the cheesecake (helps prevent the surface from cracking as it cools for about an hour). Remove sides of pan.
Chill, they taste much better after sitting for a day. If feeling adventurous, pressed chopped nuts on sides and drizzle with maple syrup before serving. I make a whipped cream with heavy cream and just a touch of syrup
Maple Syrup Baked Pears-Mary Ann
At the Mt. Washington Bed & Breakfast I often make Pears Baked in Maple Syrup with granola for my guests. You cut a pear in half - I use Bartlett or Anjou but choose your favorite - remove the core and put them cut side up in a baking dish, then cover with about an inch of maple syrup, bake at 350 for 20 minutes until the pears are tender but not too soft. Take them out, spoon the pears into bowls and sprinkle granola over them, then pour the hot maple syrup over them - enjoy! Good with ice cream too!