Recipes

Maple Syrup: It’s a Spring Food

April 26, 2012

Please note: Eileen Goltz is a freelance kosher food writer. The Orthodox Union makes no endorsements or representations regarding kashrut certification of various products/vendors referred to in her articles, blog or web site.

For some reason, most people associate the taste of maple syrup with fall and winter foods.  That’s just wrong, because maple syrup is harvested in early spring – as in, RIGHT NOW. In parts of Indiana, Michigan and other Northeastern America states, people are tapping (drilling a small hole in the tree), collecting the sap, boiling it down and producing maple syrup. Then they turn it into maple sugar, maple fudge, maple candy and lots of other yummy delicious maple treats.

The different maple syrup grades and colors available all taste slightly different. The earlier in the season you collect and process the sap, the lighter in color and flavor the maple syrup will be.  As you get further into the tapping season, the syrup becomes darker and the maple syrup ends up with a deeper maple flavor. Maple syrup will stay just fine for months at room temperature if it’s place in a sealed, unopened container. However, once you open the bottle or can, you need to refrigerate it.

Cooking with maple syrup is sort of like cooking with honey. However, because of its complex nature you will need to adjust the recipe to accommodate its unique properties.  Like honey, it can be substituted for sugar and tends to cling to the side of any measuring cup you use. I suggest you lightly spray the measuring cup with a non stick spray before you pour it in.

In baking, to replace 1 cup of sugar, use 3/4 to 1  cup maple syrup, decrease the liquid required in the recipe by 2 to 3 tablespoons  (there’s water in the syrup) and add 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon baking soda (maple syrup is acidic and baking soda helps neutralize it and lets the batter rise properly). You don’t need to add the baking soda if the recipe includes buttermilk, sour cream or sour milk because these ingredients will do the same thing the baking soda will do.

One last maple syrup note. Maple syrup is expensive, but worth the price. A little goes a long way. So please don’t cheap out and buy those faux maple-flavored“ table syrups” and “pancake syrups” that sit right next to the real honest-to-goodness maple syrup. They are sugar, water, corn syrup and flavoring. Yeech, not good for you and they taste “blah”! Splurge a little and buy the real stuff. As I said, a little goes a long way and really, who ever heard of syrup made of pancakes or tables?

 

MAPLE PECAN CHICKEN STRIPS (meat)

Servings: 6

Ingredients:

6 skinless, boneless chicken breasts cut into strips

1 egg

1/3 cup maple syrup

1 1/2 cups chopped pecans

1/4 cup flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground pepper

2 tablespoons margarine

1 tablespoon olive oil

Directions:

In a bowl, combine the pecans, flour, salt and pepper.  In another bowl, combine the egg and maple syrup and whisk to combine. Dip the chicken strips into the egg/maple syrup mixture then roll the strips into the nut mixture. Heat a large skillet and add the oil and margarine. Cook the coated chicken strips 8 to 10 minutes or until the strips are golden and the center is done.

 

MAPLE GLAZED STUFFED TURKEY BREAST (meat)

Servings: 6 – 7

Ingredients:

1 boned turkey breast (3 to 4 lbs)

2 cups pears, chopped

1/4 cup of dried cranberries or cherries

2 tablespoons pine nuts

1/4 cup bread or cracker crumbs

2 tablespoons chopped green onions

1 egg, beaten

salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Maple Glaze

2 tablespoon margarine or olive oil

1/2 cup maple syrup

1/4 cup orange juice

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400. Cut the turkey breast in half lengthwise without separating the two pieces (butterflied). In a bowl combine the pears, cranberries, pine nuts, green onions, bread crumbs, salt and pepper and egg; mix and set aside. In a small saucepan combine the margarine or oil, maple syrup and orange juice. Bring the maple mixture to a boil then immediately reduce them mixture to a simmer. Cook the glaze for about 5 minutes and then remove it from the heat. Stuff the turkey breast and place it, seam side down, on a meat rack in a roasting pan. Spoon about 2/3s of the glaze over the top of the stuffed breast. Roast for 30 minutes. Remove the turkey from oven and pour the rest of glaze over the breast and roast an additional 25  to 35 minutes or until the stuffing is hot and the turkey is cooked.

Submitted by Jenni Martoki, Seattle, WA; source unknown.

 

MAPLE WALNUT APPLE BREAD (dairy)

Servings: 1 9×5 loaf

Ingredients:

2 cups flour

3/4 maple syrup

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/3 cup milk

1/3 cup sour cream

1/3 cup butter, melted and slightly cooled

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

1 cup grated apples

1/2 cup coarsely chopped apples

3/4 cup chopped walnuts, divided

cinnamon/sugar for sprinkling

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350. Grease and flour a 9×5 loaf pan. In a larger bowl combine the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon. Mix to combine and then set aside. In a small bowl combine the sour cream, milk, maple syrup, eggs, melted butter and vanilla. Whisk to combine and then add the milk mixture into the flour mixture.  Add the grated and chopped apples and half of the walnuts. Mix to combine but don’t over mix. Spoon the batter into prepared pan and sprinkle the top with the cinnamon, sugar and remaining walnuts. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until top is golden and a tooth pick poked into the center of the loaf comes out clean. Cool on a cooling rack in the pan for 15 to 20 minutes then turn the loaf out on a cooling rack and let cool to room temperature.

Submitted by Carla McRudey, Marion, IN; source unknown.

 

MAPLE CREAM FRUIT STRUDLE (dairy)

Servings: 8

Ingredients:

12 sheets phyllo dough, thawed if frozen

1 stick butter, melted

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup pure maple syrup, divided

8 oz. cream or Neufchatel cheese, room temperature

3 tablespoons honey

2 cups tart apples, peeled and diced

1 cup pear, peeled and diced

3 tablespoons dried cherries

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon divided

dash ground nutmeg

1 cup pecans, chopped

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375. In a bowl, combine the cream cheese, 1/4 cup maple syrup, honey, and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon and mix until smooth. Set the mixture aside. In a large bowl combine the apples, pears, dried cherries, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/4 cup maple syrup, cinnamon, nutmeg and pecans. Mix to combine and set aside.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Working with 1 phyllo sheet at a time (keeping the remaining sheets covered with a slightly damp towel), lay the first sheet of phyllo on the parchment paper. Brush some of the melted butter on top of the sheet. Gently lay another phyllo sheet on top of the first and brush more melted butter on top. Sprinkle the top of the sheet with approximately 1 teaspoon brown sugar. Repeat the process (sugar every 2 sheets) until all the sheets are used.

Very gently spread the maple cream cheese mixture on one half of the top sheet of phyllo, leaving approximately 1 inch around the edges. Spoon the fruit mixture over the maple cream. Fold the edge of the stack over the fillings and then carefully roll up the phyllo into a log (like an egg roll), ending with the seam on the bottom. Brush the entire roll with the remaining melted butter and sprinkle the top and sides with the remaining sugar. Cut several vent cuts in the top so the steam can escape. Bake until the phyllo is golden and the fruit is tender-crunchy, about 40 minutes. Remove from the oven and let the strudel cool for about 45 minutes. When the strudel is totally cool transfer it to a cutting board and cut approx 8 to 10 slices on a diagonal. You can serve room temperature or rewarm. Do not refrigerate as the phyllo will get soggy.

Source unknown, from my files.

 

MAPLE CORN MUFFINS  (dairy or pareve)

Servings: 12

Ingredients:

1 1/3 cups flour

2/3 cup cornmeal

3 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 eggs, beaten

2/3 cup milk or non-dairy substitute

1/3 cup maple syrup

1/2 cup melted butter or  margarine

1 cup frozen or canned corn, drained

2 tablespoons maple syrup for glaze

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350. Using a nonstick spray, grease a 12-cup muffin pan and set it aside. In a bowl combine the flour, corn meal, baking powder and salt. In another bowl combine the eggs, milk, maple syrup, corn and melted butter. Mix to combine. Combine the egg mixture with the flour mixture and mix just to combine. Do not over mix. Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups and bake about 15 minutes. Brush the tops of the muffins with the remaining 2 tablespoons maple syrup. Bake an additional 3 to 4 minutes. Cool slightly and then remove.

Modified from about.com.

 

MAPLE VINAIGRETTE (pareve)

Servings: Approx. 2 cups

Ingredients:

4 oz. rice wine vinegar

2 oz. Balsamic vinegar

1 teaspoon minced garlic

1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1/3 cup maple syrup

1 1/3 cup olive oil

Directions:

In a blender or the bowl of a food processor combine the rice wine, balsamic vinegar, garlic, parsley, salt and maple syrup. Process to combine. Add the oil and process to combine. Add more maple syrup to adjust the taste as needed for sweetness.

Modified from southerncooking.com.

 

MAPLE PULL-APART BREAD  (dairy or pareve)

Servings: 6 – 8

Ingredients:

20 frozen dough balls (I use Rhodes), defrosted or challah dough

1 cup brown sugar

1 tablespoon cinnamon

1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted

1/2 cup maple syrup

2/3 cup chopped pecans or macadamia nuts

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350. Spray 10″ bundt pan with non-stick cooking spray and set it aside. In a bowl combine the brown sugar and cinnamon. Cut the biscuits into quarters. Dip the pieces in melted butter then roll the pieces in the brown sugar/cinnamon mixture. When you’ve placed about 12 pieces in the bundt pan sprinkle some of the chopped nuts on top. Continue with the dipping, rolling and adding the nuts until the dough is gone. In another bowl combine the remaining butter and maple syrup and then pour the mixture over the top. Don’t press the balls together; just let them sit as you placed them. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown. Watch this carefully, it can burn quickly. When golden remove immediately and flip on to a serving plate. Let cool for about 5 to 10 minutes and serve warm.

My files, source unknown.

 

Eileen Goltz is a freelance kosher food writer who was born and raised in the Chicago area. She graduated from Indiana University and the Cordon Bleu Cooking School in Paris. She lectures on various food-related topics across the U.S. and Canada and writes weekly columns for the Chicago Jewish News, kosher.com and the OU Shabbat Shalom Website. She is the author of the Perfectly Pareve Cookbook (Feldheim) and is a contributing writer for the Chicken Soup for the Soul Book Group, Chicago Sun Times, Detroit Free Press and Woman’s World Magazine. You can visit Eileen’s blog by clicking: Cuisine by Eileen.