How to use maple syrup (and five favorite recipes)
A recent visit to my husband Ted's home town of Montreal, Quebec, reminded me how much Ted loves maple syrup in all forms (cookies, candies, and straight from the jug). In the house where I grew up, maple syrup was an occasional treat; we were allowed to drizzle it on pancakes or waffles (always frozen, never homemade), and that's it. Ted takes a broader view, coating everything from matzoh brei to ice cream with maple syrup. I consider it a pantry ingredient, one I love to use in savory dishes in place of sugar or honey. Here in Rhode Island, we have a couple of friends who tap their own trees every Spring, and boil the sap to make syrup. It's a labor of love, as it takes forty gallons of sap to make one gallon of syrup.
Store maple syrup unopened for up to a year in the pantry. Once you've opened it, refrigerate for up to a year. If it gets clumpy at the bottom, reheat the syrup briefly in the microwave.
Of the many recipes I've shared here that use maple syrup, these five are my favorites:
My first experiment with bacon jam, made in the slow cooker, disappeared rather quickly. I made the mistake of making a second batch before I realized we had absolutely no self control around the sweet-salty condiment that tastes just as good on the end of a spoon as it does in these bacon jam and cheese panini sandwiches.
Adding maple syrup to the dressing for these Brussels and broccoli with maple mustard vinaigrette guarantees everyone will eat their sprouts.
What's better than maple syrup on waffles? Maple syrup in waffles! These maple walnut waffles have it all, and will satisfy the sweetest of sweet tooths.
I love the combination of crunchy vegetables and vibrant colors in this raw beet, butternut and pecan slaw, which is sure to make an appearance on my Thanksgiving table this year.
My friend Sarah shared this recipe for a not-too-sweet maple nut bread. She adapted the original recipe, from her home state of Michigan, with lovely New England cranberries.
What's your favorite way to use maple syrup?