Friday, March 13

Maple Cream (Maple Butter)


Every year since I started dating my husband (15ish years ago) his grandfather (Grandpa Brown) gave us each a jug of windshield wiper fluid, a whiskey jug filled with his maple syrup and a small  jar filled with homemade maple cream, made by him for Christmas. It is probably the most practical gift you could give a New Englander in the winter. Wiper fluid is something we go through gallons of this time of year, and maple goodies are something that never go to waste in our home.






Picture of Grandpa Brown's Maple Cream jarred and ready for gifting, photo by my husband's Aunt Cindy
I have written about how Stevie's grandfather owns an old dairy farm and sugar house in Vermont many times here on my blog. It is probably one of my favorite places in New England. My kids and I look forward to our visits to the farm each year to  visit the cows, horses and of course the maple goodies in store for us!

My family and I with my husband's Grandpa Brown and Gram at the farm on New Years Day
Since we only get one small jar of maple cream each year, we ration it out and make it last as long as possible. Before things like Nutella and Biscoff, we had maple cream to eat by the spoonfuls late at night when we had sweet tooth cravings.  Besides snacking on it late at night, we also used it to slather on toast, as a glaze for holiday hams,  mixed with a  tbs of whiskey for chest cold relief, or even as a dip for apple slices.


Stage Rd. Farm, South Strafford Vermont (The Brown Family Farm) 
Spring at Stage Rd. Farm in South Strafford, VT
I never fully valued the maple cream as I should have. Yes we used it sparingly each year when we got our small jars, but I never knew what it took to make that old fashioned maple cream that Grandpa Brown gave us until I started making my own.

Brown family sugar house in South Strafford, VT photo from my husband's Aunt Cindy

With a little research I was able to find some great tutorials online that showed you exactly what to do to make your own maple cream  (FYI some call it maple butter). In writing it looks quite simple. Everyone tells you that it's easy to make. Well to be honest... if you do it the old fashioned way like my husband's grandfather does, it is not easy at all! In fact it is the best arm workout of your life! Not only will your guns be stronger after making a couple batches, but you will have a stock pile of the best maple spread in the world. 



Maple Cream (Maple Butter) 
Adapted from Grandpa Brown's Maple Cream and America's Test Kitchen 

Ingredients:
1/2 gallon of grade A maple syrup (more or less syrup is fine too!) 

Directions:

In a large heavy bottomed pot add maple syrup and bring to a low boil. Do not walk away, syrup boils over VERY easily. You want to keep an eye on it to adjust the temperature of your stove. 

Once the syrup reaches 230-232 degrees remove from heat and pour into a stainless steel mixing bowl (or another sauce pan). Place pan in a bowl of ice or do what I do, and stick it in a snow bank until it reaches about 60 degrees. 

The temperature at this point doesn't matter as much, as long as it is about room temperature. 

Grab a strong wooden spoon (I broke one in the making of this batch....) and start mixing it by hand. this is a long process, so you might want to make this when you have a spouse or friend around to help. 

At first the syrup is going to be dark in color, and look like a thick syrup. But eventually (anywhere from 15-30 minutes in) it will start to lighten in color and thicken even more. Almost looking like almond butter. 

Once it starts to loose it's shine, is the color of creamy coffee and the texture of almond butter stop stirring and pour into canning jars ( or any other jar). Seal and refrigerate for up to 6 months. No water bath is needed for this recipe unless you want to preserve it a bit longer. 

*I yielded about 3 jelly jars worth. 
* I chose to heat my syrup to 230 degrees for a thinner cream. I like to be able to pour my cream over ice cream as well as spread it on toast. I found that 230 degrees gave me a product somewhere in the middle of a spread and a syrup. To get a thicker maple "butter", I would highly recommend heating it to 232 degrees. Those last 2 degrees will make all the difference. 
*Your maple cream will most likely separate at some point after it is jarred. This is OK! Just give it a stir before you use it each time. 



With Maple Sugaring season about to kick into full gear all around New England, I have teamed up with Smuggler's Notch Butternut Mountain Farm, Healthy Seasonal Recipes and Cooking with Books to giveaway a gift package filled with Vermont made treats and a pair of day passes to Smuggler's Notch to enjoy some spring skiing. This package is worth about $200!!

Smugger's Notch is probably one of the best family vacation spots in New England for families. I am excited to be traveling up with my crew the first week of April to celebrate Maple Fest in and around the resort. Lots of fun classic New England sugaring festivities will be going on from March 27th to April 12th. If you are looking for some fun family time, I highly suggest coming to check it out. Who knows.... maybe you'll bump into me while you are there! 

To enter in the giveaway, follow the directions on the widget bellow.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

(Disclaimer: Smuggler's Notch and Butternut Mountain Farm sponsored this giveaway. As always all opinions here are 100% my own.)

33 comments:

  1. Carrie, Thanks so much for joining in on the maple fun! I love that you made maple cream. I still have to try making it myself. Good to know about the awesome arm workout. Ha! I am totally loving the blue images you've been posting lately. It is so cool, and it looks beautiful with your new website design.

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    1. HA! Oh my gosh, I hated these photos so much. I was fussing over them last night because I got no good shots when I did them last weekend.... and then I gifted all of the maple cream away so I couldn't re-shoot. Oh well!

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  2. I love warm maple syrup on pancakes, but one of my favorite childhood memories is attending an open house and eating "sugar on snow" with a doughnut and a pickle! The candied maple syrup is my favorite!

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    1. Sugar on snow is the best! And with a dill pickle, it's done right!

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  3. I love to use maple syrup in Paleo dishes!

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  4. I love to make a drink of it with lemon, water and maple syrup with cayenne pepper for a cleanse.
    toni marie caravello feimer

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  5. Could you use a stand mixer instead of your arm to beat this?

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    1. You can, but where's the fun in that? I wanted to do it the way the old timers did it..... a right of passage I guess haha.

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    2. If you do, I'd recommend using the paddle attachment and keeping the speed at low.

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  6. I love this post, Carrie! Us New Englanders have maple syrup running through our veins!

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  7. I love warmed up maple syrup on pancakes and waffles. But my favorite is making maple butter cookies!

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  8. I grew up just north of Boston. I can remember going to Smugglers Notch during the summer. Our family didn't ski, but we so enjoyed the scenery. Now, I live in Texas and I really miss being able to get good maple syrup. Once in a while we'll find some in the store and even though it's really expensive, I have to have some! I'll use it on my pancakes or waffles and I even mix it in my bread dough. I'm too old to travel up there now but I sure do miss that beautiful scenery!

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    1. Oh how cool! You must have been close to where I live now. I'm about 45 north of Boston.

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  9. I posted your link on my FB page - https://www.facebook.com/MarshaRecipes?ref=hl

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  10. I use tons of maple syrup in homemade bbq sauce

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    1. Oooo best use ever this time of year!

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  11. I love maple syrup on pancakes & waffles! It soaks into the pancakes & settles into nooks & crannies of waffles.

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  12. Now that I have the secret to maple cream......watch out folks. LOL. Love anything maple so please indulge me and allow me to win....(grin).

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  13. I like to make maple frosting and I hope to make some maple candy. I also love to eat maple syrup out of a spoon (sometimes with bacon)

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  14. I love making homeade pancakes with maple syrup, especially this time of year! We love going to the Sugar Houses in the area when maple syrup is deliciously fresh!

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  15. This maple butter/spread looks fabulous ! I think I will make it using a mixer - thank you for sharing this !

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  16. This is such a sweet, sweet post. I loved reading about your family's traditions! And there's nothing I love more than practical gifts!

    My favorite way to use maple syrup is to sweeten muffin recipes!

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  17. I think this will become my new favorite way to use maple syrup. I love Maple Cream and didn't know you could make it this easily.

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  18. I love creamed honey and I can just imagine this taste even more amazing.

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  19. I've never had this but I now know that I need it! I'm just dreaming it about dipping apple slices into this!

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  20. My wife and I are trying to get more involved in producing our own syrups and jelly. Do you have any advice for making your own maple syrup? We would love to do this kind of stuff. However, we aren't quite sure where to start. http://blisgourmet.com/collections/maple-syrup/products/grade-b-maple-syrup

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  21. It is probably the most practical gift you could give a New Englander in the winter. hvac denver

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