Tuesday, March 17, 2009


It's maple sugaring season here in Vermont, an activity that is undertaken when the days are sunny and above freezing while the nights still dive below that cut-off point. On Sunday we walked up the road to where neighbors were boiling off maple sap in a little gyro-gearloose open-air arrangement up on their hill. I was feeling snivelly, so had forgotten my camera.
Not a sugar shack, just a beautiful (real spring) placeholder

But I've written about sugaring season so many times over the years that there's little use in covering the same ground again. Still, my tastebuds are continually hungering for one or another of the uses of maple syrup I outlined in an April, 2007 Twice Bitten column you can find here. I particularly need to try Ginette's Maple Sugar Grandfather.

I was reminded of it (stay with me, here) when I was reading Amanda Hesser's column on popovers in the March 15 New York Times Magazine. She included a recipe for Sugared Puffs, wherein the popovers are finished by brushing each with melted butter and dipping in sugar and cinnamon.

I thought those would be great with maple syrup, but because I couldn't think of how to make thin popover batter hold together in maple syrup, what popped into my mind was a sturdy pate' au choux baked in maple syrup similar to Grandma's Maple Sugar Biscuits (below).

Yes, I know, I am so maple syrup addled that, describing my train of maple-syrup-thought, my words are tripping each other up.

Still, I can't resist posting this now, and if I get up my courage to bake the 'cream puff' batter in maple syrup I'll post that later. *

Two Pies & a Grandfather

Ginette Turgeon’s MAPLE RAISIN PIE

In a saucepan combine ½ cup water, 2 tablespoons cornstarch, 1 ½ cups maple syrup and 1 cup raisins, bring to a steady but not roiling boil and keep it there for 10 minutes. Pour into a 9” pastry-lined pie pan and finish with a top crust. Bake at 375 degrees until the crust is golden, about 35 to 40 minutes.


In a deep and wide saucepan combine 3 cups maple syrup, 1 cup water and a pinch of salt and bring to a low boil and boil for 10 minutes.

Mix up the dumplings: 2 cups flour, 2 tablespoons baking powder, ½ cup butter and ¾ cup milk.

When the syrup is ready turn the heat down until you get a nice active simmer and drop the dough by tablespoons on top, cover, and continue to simmer for 20 minutes without removing the cover.


Combine 1 cup maple syrup, 4 beaten eggs, ½ cup sugar, 1/3 cup melted butter and 1 1/3 cup chopped walnuts. Pour into a single pie crust, and bake at 350 for 15 minutes, covered with a piece of foil; uncover and bake another 25 minutes.


Put two cups maple syrup in a 9x9 inch baking pan and heat it to almost boiling. [this can be done in the oven] Make your favorite biscuits, cut them out, and lay 9 of them into the syrup. Bake in a 400 degree oven until browned.

Dumplings or biscuits could be served with ice cream, beside a baked apple or poached pear, or perched on top of homemade chocolate pudding made with a good, dark chocolate.

*Courage, you say? Well yes, if I successfully oven-poached pate' au choux in maple syrup I might have to eat them all!

No comments: