Archive for: maple
Maple syrup is a delicious syrup that is popular not only as a pancake and waffle topping, but as an ingredient in all kinds of recipes. Maple syrup is only made during a small window each year in a fairly labor-intensive process, so it tends to be fairly expensive and that means that many people don’t keep it on hand all the time and that bakers faced with a recipe calling for large quantities might be reluctant to use up half a bottle, even though maple syrup delivers a flavor that you can’t quite match with any other ingredient. So I often get asked if it possible to substitute for maple syrup in recipes?
The answer is yes, it is possible to substitute other ingredients for maple syrup in recipes. It is also possible to substitute maple syrup for other sweeteners.
To substitute for maple syrup:
Honey can be directly substituted for maple syrup in terms of sweetness and consistency, although honey can also be a fairly expensive ingredient to work with. Sugar and brown sugar can be substituted for maple syrup, but because maple syrup is much sweeter than sugar and you will need about 1/3 more sugar (1 1/3 cups sugar for 1 cup maple syrup) to equal the sweetness of maple syrup in a recipe. Since maple syrup is a liquid, if you are substituting sugar you will need to increase the wet ingredients by about 3 tbsp for every cup of sugar.
Apple crumble and apple crisp are some of my favorite desserts to make with apples. They’re always delicious and take a lot less prep work than a regular apple pie – which means that I make them a lot more often. I like that an apple crumble can be simple, but that it is easy to put a new spin on it by changing up the spices, the sugars, the type of apples and even by adding whole grains to the mix.
This Whole Grain Maple Apple Crumble just might be my new favorite version of apple crumble. The crisp topping has a nice nuttiness to it – thanks both to whole grain flour and oatmeal – and both the topping and the filling have a subtle maple flavor that makes this crumble addictive. It isn’t too sweet and is a great contrast with the tender apples below. I happen to like a generous amount of topping on an apple crumble and this recipe is no exception to that, either! I tossed the apples in my filling (and you can use any kind of apples you like) with both sugar and maple syrup, and used maple sugar in the crumble topping. Maple sugar can be found at many specialty stores and is, at the moment, available at Trader Joe’s. If you don’t have maple sugar, you can substitute brown sugar or add in a half teaspoon of maple extract to give the topping that maple element.
I prefer white whole wheat flour for this crumble because it lends just the right amount of whole wheat nuttiness for me. If you only have regular whole wheat flour, or prefer it, you can absolutely use that in the recipe instead. As a matter of fact, you can also use all purpose flour without changing anything and still get good results – so you can go whole grain or not whole grain and still have an absolutely delicious maple and apple dessert.
If you love maple syrup, you really should make this Maple Syrup Ice Cream. It is ice cream made with pure maple syrup, instead of sugar, and it delivers a lot of maple flavor in a cold, creamy base. Surprisingly, it isn’t too sweet to eat by the scoopful and I often enjoy it that way. It is even better when served alongside a slice of homemade pie, a fruit cobbler or some shortbread cookies – anything you might ordinarily pair with plain vanilla ice cream. Getting a small bite of maple ice cream in each bite of pie will turn an ordinary pie into something very memorable.
The ice cream starts with a french ice cream base, where hot milk is used to temper eggs to create a nice custard base. The eggs add a nice richness to the ice cream without making it too eggy. This ice cream also uses only whole milk and no heavy cream, as I found that too much cream took away from the maple syrup a bit. You will need to use an ice cream maker for the best results with this recipe.
AS a final note, I know that maple syrup is a pricey ingredient. It is definitely necessary to use the real thing in this recipe, not pancake syrup or a blend. I also recommend opting for a dark maple syrup, or grade B maple syrup, instead of a light syrup or grade A (even if it is labeled “extra fancy”), so that you get the best flavor in the ice cream. It is even better if you have a little bit of syrup left over so that you can drizzle a little bit over the ice cream when you serve it.
Pie and tart crusts tend to be on the plain side. Of course, they will taste buttery and have a nice crisp texture, but the flavor in a tart typically comes from the filling. To let the character analogy go a little further, a supporting character can make or break a show. This is true of a tart crust, as well, where a bad crust can ruin a tart and a good one can make it memorable. One way to make a tart crust more memorable is to give it a little extra flavor of its own. A touch of lemon zest or a touch of spice in the crust can go a long way in boosting the flavor in a tart.
This Maple Sugar Shortbread Tart Crust is a new fall favorite of mine. It uses maple sugar, which infuses a subtle maple flavor into the crust and gives it a lot more dimension than a plain shortbread crust typically has. Maple sugar is a sugar that is made from maple sap that has been boiled and crystallized. It is slightly sweet, but not so sweet that it takes anything away from a good tart filling. It is buttery and tender, and bakes up to have a nice crispness that holds up to most tart fillings.
This type of crust doesn’t need to be rolled out like a pie crust. The dough is crumbly, more like a regular shortbread cookie dough might be, and it can be dumped into your tart pan and pressed firmly into an even crust. This makes it very quick to make and quick to set up in the pan, since you don’t have to wait for the dough to chill or rest. The recipe will produce enough crust for a tart pan up to 11-inches in size, so if you are using a 9 or 10-inch pan, you may have a little bit leftover (roughly 1/3 cup or so, unless you want a very thick crust). I don’t mind having a little leftover when it comes to this dough, however, because extra tart dough can always be used to make a mini tart shell or two for other desserts.
This crust goes especially well with fall fillings, like sweet potato and pumpkin. It also goes well with vanilla-filled tarts, as the maple will stand out against the vanilla. The maple will be more subtle against a chocolate filling. And, of course, it works well with any tart filling that has a touch of maple already in it!
Maple sugar is sugar that is produced when you cook down the sap of a maple tree past the point of being maple syrup, until it has almost no liquid and you are left with sandy crystals. It is an intensely flavorful ingredient and can be a lot of fun to work with – especially if you are a maple syrup fan in general. Maple sugar can be used much like regular sugar, but it is almost twice as sweet, so you need to take that into account when putting together a recipe that uses it.
These Maple Sugar Pecan Bars are made with maple sugar instead of regular granulated sugar. Maple sugar gives them intense maple flavor and makes the bars taste a lot like french toast. To compensate for the sweetness of the sugar in this particular recipe, I added a little extra salt to cut that sweetness and used salted pecans in the mix, too. The result is a bar cookie that is sweet, but balanced, and delivers a powerful burst of maple flavor that maple fans will love.
These bars are chewy and cake-like, but are moister and more dense than cake. They don’t have the same fudgy texture that a blondie does, which makes them a little lighter. They’re perfect when served with coffee or tea, but can make a tasty snack any time. The pecans add a welcome crunch to the bars, and if you use some spiced pecans, you’ll get an extra layer of flavor, although walnuts would also be an excellent option and make a nice pairing with maple. I typically stick with salted nuts in a recipe like this one because the sweet maple flavor is strong and the salted pecans stand up to it especially well.