Valley Bounty: Maple Syrup

We are squarely in the thick of maple sugaring season. Even though local maple syrup is available all year round, there’s something exciting about enjoying a local specialty when there’s a buzz in the air about it. Food is best when it’s social as well as delicious, right? And if you find yourself hitting the upper limit on how many pancakes you can eat in one maple season (I know, complete nonsense, but stick with me here), we can add a little diversity to our maple retinue by whipping up some maple cream.

Maple cream (also called maple butter, because of its spreadable consistency) is much easier to make than it might appear at first glance. It only has two ingredients, syrup and fat — I use just a splash of heavy cream for a quart of syrup, but you can also use coconut oil. Making the cream is as easy as heating both ingredients to 235°F, then moving the pot into an ice bath and sticking the whole thing in the fridge. Once it has cooled down to around 60°F, stir it slowly by hand or with a stand mixer until it thickens. I’ve never had maple cream last long enough in the fridge to tell you how long it will keep, but I can confirm that it’s great on pretty much any baked good you can think of.

Valley Bounty is written by Brian Snell of CISA (Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture)