Maple Cream ~ this one ingredient wonder will blow you away ~ imagine a creamy, whipped maple syrup that you can spread like butter on everything from toast and biscuits to pancakes, waffles, and French toast!
I love Minimal Mondays because I get to play in the kitchen. It’s gotten to the point where I really look forward to these posts because there’s no pressure, no huge load of dishes to wash afterwards, no complicated ingredients or instructions to keep straight. I’m free to dabble with something I’ve been curious about and I always come away from the day a little wiser, and with a simple new addition to my kitchen. I’m thrilled about this one. Maple is one of the iconic flavors of fall, but it’s a little bit hard to capture. This Maple Cream is pure unadulterated maple flavor in creamy buttery form.
Maple Cream, or Maple Butter, is basically spreadable maple syrup. Nothing else is added, (except a touch of butter to prevent the syrup from boiling over in the pan) and it has a creamy almost peanut butter like texture. The flavor is intense maple… sweet, but not cloying. I love maple and this is a revelation for me. I can spread it on scones, biscuits, toast, pancakes. It can be used as an icing for cake. I even spooned it into my coffee.
While this Maple Cream is certainly simple, just one ingredient, one pan, and no special equipment except for a thermometer, it does take some degree of finesse to pull off. It took me a couple of tries to get it right. My first batch turned into maple candy. But it wasn’t my fault, it was my thermometer’s. As it turned out, it was reading about 10 degrees off. When it comes to something as exacting as candy making or, in this case, maple cream making, 10 degrees counts. It’s the difference between a creamy spread and a solid candy. Both delicious, but entirely different animals. So first off I recommend testing your thermometer. Place it in a pan of boiling water…it should read 212F. If it doesn’t, you need a new thermometer. I ended up using my instant read digital thermometer, which I find easier and more accurate than the clip on variety. The battery eventually wears out, but it’s worth it for dependability.
- 2 cups grade A maple syrup
- 1/4 tsp butter
- Put the syrup and the butter in a medium, high sided saucepan. Clip a reliable candy thermometer on the side of the pan, or have a digital thermometer ready.
- Prepare a bowl of ice to cool down the pan later. I just put some ice in my sink with a little water.
- Heat the syrup over medium heat until it reaches 235F. This will take in the range of 10 minutes. Do not stir, just let it boil. Be careful to catch the mixture just as it hits 235F. If you let it heat much higher you will wind up with maple candy.
- When the syrup has reached 235F, take it off the heat and set it in the ice or ice water to cool to about 100F. This doesn't take long, so be alert.
- Once the syrup has cooled, remove the pan from the ice and take a wooden spoon and start stirring.. You don't have to stir furiously, just stir briskly as if you were making cookie batter or something. Just keep steadily stirring the thick syrup and eventually it will start to lighten in color, and then it will magically thicken into a spreadable consistency, like peanut butter. This can take anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes, so don't get discouraged. Switch arms, pass it off to another stirrer, but keep at it. When the mixture has thickened, immediately pour it into a jar.
- Store the maple cream in the refrigerator, it will keep a long time, like maple syrup does,
This recipe is adapted from Massachusetts Maple Producers Association
If you follow this blog you may know that I am an English muffin fanatic, and fyi, Thomas’ has just come out with a seasonal Pumpkin Spice variety…I slathered my Maple Cream on one hot out of the toaster and I’m enjoying it right now.