Great maple syrup recipes
When the robins roll back into town and snow starts melting off the eaves in a steady drip, Quebecers know what season is just around the bend.
That’s right, it’s maple syrup time.
As the country’s best-loved export, maple syrup is big business in Canada, and Quebec especially. The Quebec Maple Syrup Producers (QMSP) represents 11,300 maple producers who account for almost three-quarters of global maple syrup production and 90 per cent of Canadian production. Apparently the world knows a good thing when they taste it because demand for Canadian maple syrup continues to grow — with 7.6 million gallons exported in 2021 — and reached such a high last year that the QMSP had to access its reserves to meet export demands.
Here in Quebec, we’re able to enjoy delicious, authentic 100 per cent pure maple syrup year-round, and the industry is in full force in early spring when the region’s traditional cabanes à sucre open their doors for gastronomic feasts.
A highlight of the meal (and one thing I always leave room for) is the warm strands of maple syrup known as tire sur la neige, or maple taffy. This sticky-sweet concoction is the ultimate finale after pancakes, omelettes, and ham, and is best enjoyed with friends and family around an outdoor fire or on an after-meal walk through the sugar bush.
If you’re not able to get out to a sugar shack this season but are craving the magical creation that happens when hot maple syrup meets snow, making maple taffy at home is surprisingly easy and a great family activity. Follow these steps and you’ll have a delicious treat in no time.
Maple taffy (tire sur la neige)
What you’ll need:
- Baking pan or large shallow bowl filled with clean fresh snow
- 1 can of pure maple syrup (a 540 ml can will make between 8 to 10 taffy sticks)
- Popsicle sticks
- A candy thermometer
- A heavy-bottomed pot with high sides
- Place a baking pan with packed down snow in the freezer or outside to keep cold
- In a pot, bring maple syrup to a low boil. Continue cooking until it reaches 115°C (238°F). If you don’t have a candy thermometer, the syrup should boil for about ten minutes, until it thickens. Watch carefully as you don’t want it to burn.
- Drizzle hot maple syrup over the prepared snow in short strips and allow it to cool for a minute. Then peel off the snow with a popsicle stick and savour the flavour. Mmm
(If there’s no snow to be found, or you want to make maple taffy year-round, you can also crush ice in a food processor and keep it in the freezer until needed).
Favourite maple syrup recipes
A versatile product; lunch, dinner, and snacks can all benefit from a taste of maple syrup. A drizzle of syrup in morning smoothies is a delightful way to start the day, barbequed salmon dazzles in a maple marinade, and little hands will love helping prepare granola bars and muffins naturally sweetened with maple. We’ve gathered up a few of our favourites from the Quebec Maple Syrup Producers’ website Maple from Canada, where families can find interesting facts about maple syrup production and tons of recipes highlighting this special Quebec treat.
- 250 ml frozen strawberries or berries
- 190 ml 0% fat Greet yogurt
- 1/2 frozen banana, sliced
- 125 ml cold water
- 60 ml quick-cooking oatmeal
- 60 ml maple syrup
- Add all incredients into a blender and puree until smooth. Serve cold.
Chewy Maple Bars
Preparation: 20 minutes, Cooking: 15 minutes, 12 portions
- 250 ml toasted sesame seeds
- 125 ml sunclower seeds
- 125 ml raisins
- 125 ml dried apricot, diced
- 250 ml crispy rice cereal (like Rice Krispies)
- 80 ml maple butter
- 1 egg
- Butter or margarine (for baking dish)
Preheat oven to 180 °C (350 °F).
- Butter a square 20-cm (8-in) Pyrex baking dish.
- Mix dry ingredients in a bowl.
- Melt maple butter in a medium saucepan.
- Add dry mixture to the saucepan and stir well until all ingredients are well-coated.
- Beat egg in a small bowl. Add a little of the hot mixture to warm egg, then pour back into saucepan, mixing well.
- Press mixture into baking dish.
- Bake 12 to 15 minutes, or until top is slightly golden. Let cool before cutting into bars.
- Preparation: 15 minutes, 4 Portions
- 500 ml cooked and cold chicken, chopped
- 15 ml shallots, finely chopped
- 1 celery stalk, diced
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 60 ml mayonnaise
- 30 ml maple syrup
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 4 store bought salad rolls
- In a bowl, mix all ingredients but bread rolls. Cut breads in half lengthwise, and garnish with the chicken salad.
Source for recipes and photos: Maple from Canada