Monday, March 31, 2014

Baking with Real Maple Syrup

In New England, March is maple tapping season. Every year we go up to New Hampshire for the Maple Weekend, which is the time when all of the sugar houses give free tours and samples. Syrup is so much cheaper when you buy it direct from the farmers, and you get an amazing variety of choices. You can usually purchase any shade of Grade A (Light, Medium Amber, Dark Amber). Sometimes they will even have Grade B available, which most people don't want, but bakers like me covet.

Tips for baking with maple syrup:
Use REAL maple syrup, and Grade B if you can find it. Grade B is generally thought of as too strong for topping pancakes with, but you want that stronger flavor in baking, since maple flavors can often be too subtle in the end result.

For anything that uses corn syrup, you can just replace it with maple syrup with no other modifications (see my recipes for Maple Pecan Pie and Fluffy Maple Icing).

For other frostings such as Maple Buttercreams you use the syrup in place of the liquid in the recipe (you can decrease the sugar a little to make up the difference, but we are only talking about a small amount here).

You can also use maple syrup pretty much any time you would make a sugar syrup for a recipe.

Use it in custards by substituting Maple Syrup for all of the sugar and some of the liquid in the recipe. has a nice recipe for Maple Custard.

Maple Cinnamon Rolls - brush the dough with maple syrup instead of butter before the sprinkling of cinnamon sugar, then use a maple glaze on top.

For recipes where you want to replace a large amount of sugar with maple syrup, I actually recommend using maple sugar instead, which is made by the same process as syrup, only the sap is boiled longer until almost all of the water has been removed.

Here are some other great recipes using real maple syrup:

What are YOUR favorite ways to use real maple syrup???