The long wait. Syrup making into the night.
We did it, we made our own maple syrup! Myself and the Mrs we’re invited to New Hampshire to spend a day (and a lot of a night) making syrup. We had a fantastic time. While I’m sure most serious syrup makers would frown upon some of the finer points of our process, we gathered sap and boiled and bottled our very own syrup.
Although very time consuming it was really easy. We helped gather 14 gallons (53 litres) of sap from some pre-tapped sugar maples. We then built a big fire and sat out all day with some local beers tending and topping up the reducing syrup. From our 14 gallons we ended up with just 1.8 pints (850ml.)
This was put into the token, sterilized, maple leaf shaped bottles and left to cool. An initial tasting was unlike any syrup I’ve ever had. It is often said the real deal is a million miles from the store bought stuff, and while we do buy local Maine syrup, this was indeed very different. Unmistakable as maple syrup but with a caramel taste to it as well. Lighter in colour and a little less brash, it is fantastic and will be treasured through-out the year.
Big thanks to the Nimmos in New Hampshire for showing us the ropes and letting us take more than our share of the finished product. I can’t wait to do it again next year.
Categories: Recipe Tags: fire, maple, maple syrup, New Hampshire, recipe
Treeless Maple Syrup
So the verdict is in. A few weeks ago I went about creating “Treeless Maple Syrup” – this was a recipe of Bradford Angier’s that I found in “Taming the Wilds.” As advised I left it to mature and this morning the frying pan went on and the secret pancake mix was made up.
The syrup had taken a strange turn, the sugar all sank and solidified leaving a strange coloured liquid on top. I gave it a good mix and it became thick and caramel like. Once on the pancakes it was actually surprisingly good. A little gritty and extremely sweet, without any hint of potato. My fellow diners both found it “passable, with a weird texture,” I was very happy the results. It doesn’t really shine a light on maple syrup but a servicable replacement if you cant get hold of the real stuff.
Maple syrup season is nearly upon us and we have been invited to a syrup cook-out in New Hampshire, so my maple syrup adventure continues.
Categories: Recipe Tags: books, Bradford Angier, cooking, maple syrup, pancakes
14 Nov 2011 |
Treeless Maple Syrup
After pack weight, trail food would have to be one of the most talked about hiking subjects. I am fascinated by the creative recipes written in older hiking books. The most interesting come from a time before commercial hiking food, when hikers managed with some fresh produce and dry staples, adding to their larder by hunting and gathering. Most recipes are fairly predictable rabbit stew, fish, beans and breads.
There is one recipe, however, that stuck in my head more than any other. Treeless Maple Syrup from Bradford Angier’s 1967 publication “Taming the Wilds.”
This recipe is for those living outside the North East who do not have access to maple trees.
6 medium potatoes
2 cups water
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
Peel the potatoes. Boil uncovered with 2 cups of water until one cup of fluid remains. Remove the potatoes and use any way you want. Stirring the liquid until the boiling point has been once again reached, slowly add the sugar. Once this has entirely dissolved set the pan off the heat to cool slowly.
It can then be bottled.
Being a newcomer to New England, and not having had the chance to make my own maple syrup yet, I thought I would give it a try. I’d love to report it was incredible but as per Angier’s instructions I am leaving it to mature. An initial tasting was accurate to Angier’s prediction, realising my “worst fears” flavour wise. He advised placing it in a dark place for several days the results of which he promises will be surprising. I shall report back once ready.
UPDATE: Results are in.
Categories: Books, Recipe Tags: 1960s, Bradford Angier, cooking, maple syrup, recipe, Taming the Wilds