I just realized THIS is my 200th recipe on Floating Kitchen! That’s a lot of eating and a lot of dishes. And what better way to celebrate my dishpan hands than with Maple Cream.
You all know by now that maple syrup is near and dear to my heart. Like most New Englanders, I take the whole issue of maple syrup very seriously. And when I die, you’ll have to pry that cute leaf shaped bottle from my cold, stiff hands. Real talk.
One of the most downright decadent and delicious things you can do with maple syrup is turn it into Maple Cream. Never had Maple Cream before? Then you are missing out. Maple Cream is maple syrup that has been coaxed (or if we are being more scientific, the sugars become crystallized) into a thick, spreadable cream. You can use it however you would use maple syrup. In fact, I beg you to slather some on top of your pancakes or waffles. But you can also use it for so many other things. I like to dip sliced apples or pears in it. It’s great on toast with peanut butter. Or spread it between two cookies for some homemade cookie sandwiches (it’s particularly wonderful with these Maple Ginger Snaps).
Oh and don’t forget about my most favorite way to enjoy it: straight from the spoon!
Feeling generous? Give this as a gift to the maple syrup lover in your life. The Holidays are a creeping in people.
I love me some Grade B maple syrup. Despite it’s label, I find the taste far superior to Grade A. BUT, for this recipe I recommend using Grade A. Some internet searching hinted that the process doesn’t always work with Grade B (differences in the sugar content or density maybe?). So this is probably the only time I’m ever going to say this: get yourself some Grade A for this recipe.
America’s Test Kitchen has a great tutorial with step-by-step photos of the whole process. I highly recommend reading through it before you start. And there are some great tips buried in the comments thread as well. Another tip: make sure your thermometer is accurate. You don’t want to overcook this stuff!
Oh and fair warning: your arm will get tired from all the stirring. But the little extra work out is worth it for this special treat!
- For the Maple Cream
- 3 cups Grade A maple syrup
- 1/4 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- Several cups of ice
- Instant read thermometer
- Fill a large bowl with ice and about 1 cup of water. Nestle a clean saucepan inside the ice bath to start it cooling. Set aside.
- Add the maple syrup and the olive oil to a large saucepan. It will bubble and rise fairly significantly as it boils, so make sure to choose a pan that is at least double the volume of the liquid to prevent boiling over.
- Bring the mixture to a boil and boil, without stirring, until it reaches 235 degrees Fahrenheit. Immediately remove the pan from the heat. It’s important not to over heat the maple syrup, or you’ll end up with a hard maple candy and not a maple cream.
- Carefully pour the hot maple syrup into the saucepan in the ice bath. Let it cool until it reaches approximately 100 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Remove the saucepan from the water bath. Start stirring the cooled maple syrup with a wooden spoon. The layer at the bottom of the pan will be slightly harder (because it was closest to the ice), but as you stir it will become softer and the whole mixture will take on a more even texture.
- Stir the maple syrup for 10-15 minutes. You don’t have to stir it quickly, but do keep up a consistent and steady pace. As you stir, the maple syrup will lighten in color and start to loose it’s shine. The Maple Cream is done when it’s the thickness of natural peanut butter and the color of tahini paste (the color can vary slightly depending on the color of the maple syrup that you started with; i.e. a dark amber will produce a darker final product).
- Once it reaches this point, you want to quickly transfer it to containers for storage. Over stirring can result in the final cream being too stiff.
- Maple Cream can be stored in your refrigerator for up to 6 months. It’s normal for the Maple Cream to be a bit firm straight from the refrigerator. You can stir it (like you would with natural peanut butter) to loosen it up or pop it in the microwave for a few seconds. And it will also just naturally loosen up over time, so if it seems too stiff the first week or two, don’t panic!