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Homemade maple syrup recipe needed

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  • Kari Nov 18, 2008 11:33 AM
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I was thinking of giving homemade breakfast baskets and wanted to make some homemade syrup. When doing a search all of them needed to be refrigerated. I want to be able to put a few of the baskets for relatives under the tree. Do you think it will be okay.

Anyone with a good, inexpensive recipe?

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  1. I don't get it, how do you make maple syrup without having a tree to tap?

    1. 1. build sugar house and boiler in sugar maple forest.

      2. make snowshoes

      3. gather buckets and firewood. . .

      1. I am puzzled also. My understanding is that you tap a maple tree and boil the sap down. Not something most home cooks are able to do.

        2 Replies
        1. re: NYCkaren

          There are recipes that make it from sugar, water and maple extract (2 cups sugar, one cup water, 1/2 tsp extract). Seems simple enough (although I would be hard pressed to imagine it is anything like the real thing, but who knows). Not sure why you would have to refrigerate it either.

          1. re: NYCkaren

            You also need a large volume of raw sap to yield even a small amount of syrup so I'm also curious. I have friends who make it but they have a sugar bush in Quebec. It's only made in the early spring, not this time of year.

            Do you mean some other sort of breakfast syrup that's corn syrup or fruit based?

          2. A home cook can do it... but understand that you need something like 40 gallons of sap to make 1 gallon of maple syrup. Oh and you need to start back in February with sap gathering tools and buckets and wait until the sap starts to run.

            I would not embarrass myself by making a mocked up version of maple syrup with extracts. People like homemade gifts but don't fool them and make a fake one. They can buy the real stuff in almost any grocery store.

            7 Replies
            1. re: HaagenDazs

              Exactly. Why bother to make a homemade version of Aunt Jemima's maple-flavored sugar syrup when real maple syrup is so good?

              1. re: NYCkaren

                what about making a homemade fruit syrup or jam instead?

              2. re: HaagenDazs

                I should of clarified, I live in Az so no maple tree's in my back yard. My brother is not a foodie, so I thought why not try it and put it with a homemade pancake mix. Neither him or his wife are great cooks. I highly doubt I would be embarrassing myself.

                I am trying to stick with a very tight budget and maple syrup is expensive. I thought this might be a nice alternative.

                1. re: Kari

                  I understand your point, and your intentions are good, but you're making a homemade fake version of the real thing. Why not make a real version of something else? You might not be able to stick with a pancake mix, but there are lots of homemade items that can be made with relative simplicity. I think the homemade idea is a good one, just not this route.

                  For instance, I have made homemade mustard on occasion and I've given it as gifts during the holiday season. Many people are amazed that I've made mustard but if you have cheap access to mustard seeds (don't buy a bunch of the McCormick bottles!) and you have a blender or food processor, you can easily and very cheaply make mustard. The bottles are the main expense.

                  Point is, I think there are other alternatives and I don't think I'm alone here in thinking you should do something else. In the end it's your gift and do what you want, but I suggest otherwise. Maybe make a vanilla syrup with real vanilla beans or something like that. The idea of a fruit compote/jam is nice for bagels/English muffins/toast.

                  How about an herb infused salt mix made with sea salt or kosher salt? Something like a steak salt or an all purpose seasoned salt? There are things that you can make that everyone (foodie or not) will eventually use on occasion.

                  1. re: HaagenDazs

                    I like your mustard idea! I usually make cookies or candy but some people have diet issues and need to avoid sugar.

                    1. re: NYCkaren

                      It's super easy - I can get mustard seed real cheap at one of our farmer's markets here in Atlanta.

                      Mustard is something so unusual as a homemade gift, people are often very impressed. In actuality, all you need to do is soak the mustard seeds and then blend them up. OK there are some other steps in there and you need to add vinegar and salt, etc. but there's not much to it. You will probably want to add some honey or sugar, but it's so minimal that it won't play a large role for someone with diabetes for instance.

                  2. re: Kari

                    I suspected that this was direction you wanted go, since I recall my mom making such a syrup. The maple flavoring is, most likely, a synthetic one made largely from fenugreek seeds.

                    I don't think a homemade syrup needs fridgeration in the short term, though it would good for long term storage. The base is most likely a sugar syrup with the addition of some corn syrup to retard crystallization. You can also inhibit crystalization by making a partial invert sugar. This is done by simmering the sugar syrup with a acid, which splits some of the sucrose. This produces something like Lyle's Golden Syrup.

                    I wonder if you could make, or buy, a syrup with more of a SW character. Agave syrup comes to mind.

                    Here's something about using prickly pears:
                    http://www.azcentral.com/travel/arizo...

                2. From: http://homecooking.about.com/od/condi...

                  Cook Time: 15 minutes

                  Ingredients:

                  1/2 cup granulated sugar
                  1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
                  1 cup boiling water
                  1 teaspoon butter
                  1 teaspoon maple extract or vanilla extract

                  Preparation:

                  Place granulated sugar in a heavy skillet. Heat until the sugar melts and turns brown.

                  Meanwhile, place brown sugar into a heavy saucepan. Pour water over brown sugar and bring to a boil without stirring.

                  Add caramelized white sugar to the melted brown sugar in the saucepan. Simmer, stirring often, until syrup is thickened.

                  Remove from heat, and whisk in butter and maple or vanilla extract.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                    Sorry but don't do it! It's not even close to the real thing.

                    Another suggestion: blueberry sauce. Basically just make a very thin version of blueberry jam (using frozen blueberries makes it cheap and possible at this time of year), seal it properly into jars and send that instead. Leave the blueberries all lumpy in it also - it will be delicious. Could add a twist of lemon peel to the mix for a bit of zip. I've made this by accident when trying to make blueberry jam that just refused to set up. It's fantastic on pancakes.

                    1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                      Hmm, could be interesting to do with vanilla and just call it vanilla-caramel syrup instead of maple. Then you're making something new instead of knocking off a knockoff. If you could find affordable vanilla beans, a pod in the bottle would be a nice touch.

                    2. When I was a kid we would make maple syrup with Mapeline flavouring. It was acceptable but no way near as good as the real thing. Why don't you just buy maple syrup and combine with some other goodies as a gift.

                      1. Why don't you make a simple caramel sauce. It is just carmelized sugar and whole cream. Delicious.

                        1. Kari, your reasons - budget, among others - for making a "maple" syrup make sense. Can you report back later if brother and sister-in-law even notice the difference.

                          The recipe I suggested does not need to be refrigerated.

                          Now I'm going to be like everyone else and suggest an alternative, but a very inexpensive one: make the sugar and butter syrup with fresh lime or lemon juice substituting for most of the water. I live where there are no blueberries and no maple syrup. My usual on pancakes is lemony tart, sweet, and buttery.

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                            I'm from New England, and completely agree that Sam should not waste his time and the ingredients making "maple" syrup. Make something else -- lemon curd, raspberry syrup, etc.

                            For those who don't know, real maple syrup does not need to be refrigerated before the sealed container is opened. Even if it isn't refrigerated for a while after opening, all that will happen is that it will grow some mold on the surface, but people are known to just peel that off and use what's below. We keep our maple syrup in the fridge.

                            For those who have never had real maple syrup, yes, it's a bit pricey, but incredibly delicious and a little bit goes a long way.

                            1. re: somervilleoldtimer

                              It's not outrageously priced at Trader Joe's, and they even have the harder-to-find, but higher quality, Grade B. (Grade A is lighter in color and has a weaker flavor). The recommended remedy for mold is to pour it through a coffee filter. If memory serves, you're then supposed to nuke it to a near boil before cooling and returning to the fridge. I'm certain of the filter part, but not the heating.

                              1. re: greygarious

                                Do check Trader Joe's for quality maple syrup at a reasonable price. There are 2 in the NW Phoenix area.

                          2. We have wild chokecherries in this area so I make and can the syrup. My hubby always includes a variety of syrups in my Christmas stocking; blueberry, blackberry, apricot, etc. I love these while he prefers the real maple which I add to his Christmas stash. If these are of interest you can find frozen berries at the grocery store and turn them into something special. I just recently purchased blackberries for $1.78 lb. in 1 lb packages. Not as good as fresh Oregon picked but one possible budget option.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: Joan of Ark

                              I'm not sure what grows in your area, but something seasonal is more inexpensive, usually. The chokecherries sound like a great idea. For gifts, maybe you have nopales (sp?) or could make Christmas pickles or tomato jam with cinnamon. If you want something seasonal, you could copy the delicious pumpkin butter from Williams-Sonoma, or apple butter. Also, sweetened, lightly spiced stewed apples are good on pancakes.
                              As someone who lives in sap country in Vermont, I feel compelled to speak out regarding the horrifying fake maple syrup! Don't do it. I'd rather you weakened Grade B. It's more flavorful and preferred by woodchucks here. Grade A is for tourists and flatlanders. I agree with the 40:1 sap to syrup ratio. Here in northeastern VT sap rises in late February to early March when the days are warmer and the nights stay cold. Oldtimers even use it in their coffee rather than having to buy sugar.