Food, UpCountry Kitchen

Maple Syrup Makes Everything Taste a Bit Sweeter

Recipe_1.jpg

By Jennifer Huberdeau

Pouring rich, thick pure maple syrup over a short stack of pancakes or French toast is a timeless ritual in New England, where sugar makers turn sap into sweet, sticky goodness. While maple syrup has long been a breakfast staple, it has myriad uses as an alternative sweetener. Author Ken Haedrich offers over 100 breakfast, lunch and dinner recipes that use pure maple syrup as the main sweetener in “The Maple Syrup Cookbook.”
Divided into four sections, the cookbook offers an introduction to the sugaring process and basic guidelines to cooking with maple syrup, sweet and savory breakfast recipes, a variety of recipes for soups, starters, vegetable sides and main dishes and a chapter of sweets — pies, pastries, cookies and candies.

Described as “treasure chest of delightful recipes you’ll turn to again and again,” the cookbook, now in its third edition, features full-color photos of recipes ranging from banana crêpes with maple rum sauce and crispy maple spare ribs to the more off-beat maple bread-and-butter pickles.

Maple Sticky Buns

Yield: 9 servings

If you like sticky buns but can seldom find the time to make the real thing, these are for you. I’ve taken an ordinary biscuit recipe and turned it into something quite extraordinary with the help of a maple glaze. And I seal the deal with a brown sugar, walnut, and cinnamon filling. You’ll want to make these for a special Sunday breakfast.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts
  • 1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) plus 1 tablespoon cold butter
  • 2 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup milk
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Mix together the walnuts, brown sugar, and cinnamon in a small bowl. Set aside.
  2. In a small saucepan, bring the maple syrup and 4 tablespoons of the butter to a boil over medium heat. Boil for 30 seconds, then scrape into a 9-inch square baking pan or a 10-inch deep-dish pie plate. Set aside.
  3. Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Toss to mix. Cut 4 tablespoons of the butter into 1/2-inch pieces, add to the flour mixture, and cut it in until the butter is roughly the size of split peas. Make a well in the mixture and add the milk. Stir gently, just until the mixture forms a damp, cohesive mass. If the dough seems a bit wet, work in a tad more flour with the back of a wooden spoon. Melt the remaining 1 tablespoon butter in a small saucepan.
  4. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead gently five or six times. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough into the best 9- by 12-inch rectangle you can manage; don’t worry if it isn’t perfect. Brush the surface with the melted butter.
  5. Cover the dough evenly with the brown sugar mixture, patting it gently with your hands. Starting at the 9-inch edge, roll up the dough like a carpet, pinching at the seam to seal. Cut into nine 1-inch slices and lay them flat in the baking pan with the syrup. Bake for 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and invert onto a large plate; do this quickly but carefully, being aware that the syrup is very hot. Oven mitts are a good precaution. Scrape any syrupy stuff from the pan and spread over the buns.

Excerpted from “The Maple Syrup Cookbook” © by Ken Haedrich, photography © by Michael Piazza Photography, used with permission from Storey Publishing.


Recipe_3.jpgMaple-Glazed Brussels Sprouts

YIELD: 4 servings

Brussels sprouts have a special affinity for maple syrup, and it gets even better when you dress them up with bacon. Serve them at the holidays or anytime you cook a roast. These are so delicious that I’ve seen these open the most steadfastly closed Brussels sprouts minds.

Ingredients

  • 4 slices bacon
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 cup finely chopped sweet onion
  • 1–1 1/4 pounds Brussels sprouts, halved
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  1. Cook the bacon in a large skillet until crisp. Transfer the bacon to paper towels and let cool. Tilt the skillet and spoon off all but about 2 tablespoons of the fat.
  2. Add the butter and onions to the skillet. Saute the onions over medium heat until translucent, 7 to 8 minutes. Stir in the Brussels sprouts and cook for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the chicken broth.
  3. Cover and braise the Brussels sprouts until not quite tender, about 3 minutes. Uncover the pan, stir in the mustard, and add salt and pepper to taste. Continue to cook, uncovered, until the Brussels sprouts are tender and the liquid is reduced to a glaze, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the maple syrup just before taking them off the heat. Transfer to a serving plate and crumble the bacon over the top. Serve immediately.

Excerpted from “The Maple Syrup Cookbook” © by Ken Haedrich, photography © by Michael Piazza Photography, used with permission from Storey Publishing.


Recipe_4.jpgButtermilk-Maple Spice Cake

Yields 9-12 servings

I like to make simple cakes, such as this one, in general. The spices can be increased, but don’t go too heavy on them or you’ll mask the subtle maple flavour. A good snack item for brown baggers or for dessert, with whipped cream.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2/3 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon blackstrap molasses

PREPARATION

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9-inch square baking pan.
    Sift the flours, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, salt, cloves, nutmeg, and cayenne into a large bowl. Set aside.
  2. In a separate bowl, blend the eggs, buttermilk, maple syrup, oil, and molasses.
  3. Make a well in the dry mixture and stir in the egg mixture, just until smooth; do not beat. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 30 minutes, or until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool in the pan.

Excerpted from “The Maple Syrup Cookbook” © by Ken Haedrich, photography © by Michael Piazza Photography, used with permission from Storey Publishing.


Recipe_2.jpgBanana Crêpes in Maple-Rum Sauce

YIELD: 4 servings

Whether for a special breakfast, brunch, or even dessert, this recipe is easy to make. If the bananas are large, three should be enough. The bananas could be served plain, but the crêpes make for an elegant presentation. For dessert, instead of the crêpes, you can also serve the bananas on pound cake, topped with vanilla ice cream.

Ingredients

Crêpes

  • 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 ¾ cups milk, plus more if needed
  • 4 eggs
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted, plus
  • 2 2/3 tablespoons for greasing skillet
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Bananas

  • Butter for greasing skillet
  • 4 small to medium bananas, peeled, halved lengthwise and then crosswise
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup dark rum
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

FOR THE CRÊPES:

  1. In a food processor or blender, process the flour, milk, eggs, butter, and salt until smooth. Add more milk if necessary; the batter should have the consistency of light cream. Chill for at least 30 minutes.
  2. Heat a small nonstick skillet or crêpe pan over medium heat, then melt 1 teaspoon of butter in it. Spread the butter to cover the bottom and part of the sides of the pan.
  3. Pour a little less than 1/4 cup of the batter into the pan and quickly tip the pan, moving it in a circular fashion to evenly spread the batter over the bottom and sides. Cook for about 2 minutes; flip the crêpe and cook for 30 seconds longer.
  4. Repeat with the remaining batter. As you finish cooking the crêpes, stack them between sheets of waxed paper to prevent them from sticking. (Crêpes may be frozen, unfilled; leave the waxed paper between them.)

FOR THE BANANAS:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Butter a large ovenproof skillet or casserole dish and lay the bananas in it, flat side down.
  2. Melt the butter in a saucepan, then add the maple syrup. Bring to a boil, boil for a moment, then add the rum and lemon juice. As soon as the syrup returns to a boil, remove from the heat and pour over the bananas. Place in the oven and bake for 15 minutes, basting once or twice.
  3. Remove the bananas from the oven. Using a slotted spatula, transfer two banana slices to a crêpe and roll the crêpe; place on a dish. Repeat with the remaining bananas to fill seven more crêpes (two per dish).
  4. Put the skillet on a burner over high heat, or transfer the liquid to a saucepan if you used a casserole dish, and quickly reduce the liquid to a thick syrup. Spoon the sauce over the crêpes.

Excerpted from “The Maple Syrup Cookbook” © by Ken Haedrich, photography © by Michael Piazza Photography, used with permission from Storey Publishing.


Recipe_5About the author:

Ken Haedrich is the author of more than a dozen cookbooks, including “The Maple Syrup Cookbook” and “Home for the Holidays,” a winner of the Julia Child Cookbook Award. His articles have appeared in many publications, including Better Homes and Gardens, Cooking Light, and Bon Appétit. He can be found online at thepieacademy.com.

About the book:

The Maple Syrup Cookbook
Storey Publishing
Retails for $14.95
192 pages
Available in paperback and ebook

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