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VPR Cafe: Beyond Maple Syrup

Glen Russell/Free Press
Jacques and Pauline Couture make maple sugar and maple cream at their farm in Westfield.

What could be better than Vermont maple syrup on French toast or waffles? For Candace Page, it might be maple cream on toast.

For perfect maple cream, syrup is boiled to an exact temperature and stirred to the perfect consistency. Making your own maple sugar to sprinkle on cereal or ice cream is a bit easier. (The recipe is below.)

Candy writes for the Savorvore Section of The Burlington Free Press. She talks about how maple sugar and maple cream are made and you can learn more about making your own maple sugar in her Free Press story.

The VPR Cafe is produced in collaboration with The Burlington Free Press and is made possible by the Vermont Community Foundation Food And Farm Initiative.

Maple Granulated Sugar
Making maple cream at home is a tricky business, experts say.  They recommend trying granulated maple sugar instead.  Here’s a recipe from Steve Childs, maple specialist at Cornell University:

Rub just a little butter around the rim of a heavy-bottomed saucepan. This will help prevent the syrup from boiling over. In a separate saucepan, boil some water, then measure its temperature with a candy thermometer. Depending on the weather, the water may boil slightly above or below 212 degrees. In the heavy pot, boil a quart of medium amber maple syrup until it registers between 50 to 60 degrees above the boiling point of the water.  Do not stir during boiling.
Turn off the heat and cool the syrup briefly. Start stirring and don’t stop. If you stop, the sugar will get lumpy. If you heated the syrup only to 50 degrees above boiling, the result will be a thick granular sugar resembling brown sugar. If the syrup cooked to 60 degrees above boiling, you’ll end up with a dry sugar ready for the table.
If the sugar grains are not a consistent size, the sugar can be ground in a food processor and pushed through a sieve. Store in an airtight container so the sugar does not absorb moisture from the air.

“Apple pie, anything with raspberries – use maple sugar instead of white sugar. It adds a lot of flavor,” Childs said.

Franny was VPR's Director of Programming & Production.
Ric was a producer for Vermont Edition and host of the VPR Cafe.
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