As kids growing up in Maine, we couldn't wait for the slight "spring" thaw to hit so we could help tap the maple trees. Warm days and Cold nights made the sap flow freely and nothing was so sweet as that golden amber syrup that boiled and boiled and boiled for hours on end in those tall pots in the shed. We couldn't wait to pour the syrup onto freshly fallen snow to make instant maple candy and devour it's delicious richness.
Now, as an adult, living in a much warmer climate, I still can't bring myself to buy overpriced bottles of slightly flavored corn-syrup. Here's an easy DIY recipe for (faux) maple syrup.
1 c. Water
1/2 c. Sugar
1 c. brown sugar
1/8 tsp cornstarch
1 Tbs Maple Extract
In a saucepan combine the sugars and cornstarch, stirring to mix, add 1 cup of COLD water, stirring to dissolve the sugars. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally.
Cook, stirring occasionally until the syrup reaches the thickness you prefer. Add the Maple Extract, stirring again to incorporate, reduce heat and simmer 2 minutes.
Remove from heat and bottle. If you prefer butter enhanced Maple syrup, add 2 tbs of butter with the maple extract.
All leftover syrup should be refrigerated and used within 60 days.
Try to avoid over-stirring the syrup as it boils as this causes the sugars to crystallize.
© Can Stock Photo Inc. / DWiedemann