Good Morning. It’s maple sugar season now and when I saw this I knew I needed it, Maple Creme Brulee (or more fancified, Maple Crème Brûlée).
Here’s a video version with walnuts, I confess I’ve never made brulees myself and if you are like me it helps to see how-to:
My Vermontian brother had friends with a sugar house, so he would bring us gallons(!) of maple syrup when he came to visit. What a welcome treasure! Sadly he doesn’t live there anymore so we have to buy our own — and once you go pure maple, there’s no going back. My little sister was notoriously wanton in her use of it. She’d drench her pancakes, drench!, I tell you. It was a horror to have to wash all that goodness off her plate after we ate, you’d think she was using Log Cabin Jemima Buttersworth or something.
My cousins lived in eastern Ohio near a mapling center, as kids we’d often get maple sugar candies when we visited. I liked the grainy crystals melting in my mouth. For a do-it-yourself treat my brother suggests Sugar on Snow:
Heated maple syrup in a small pitcher – plate of fresh powdery new fallen snow – pour the syrup onto the snow base and voila – chewy threads of wonder!!! (kind of a Vermonter’s variation on the traditional “Funnel Cake” ha ha!)
That fine land-grant university in New York, Cornell, has a handy FAQ for more info, like grades and stuff and even a small bit on other consumable tree saps. (You have to admit, drinking sap is weird.)
Maple syrup is produced only in the northeastern United States and eastern Canada, the region in which sugar maple is found. Although maple syrup is not produced in other regions of the world, some other species of maple are tapped. For example, in Korea, people tap a maple species called Acer mono and pipe the sap from the mountains down to the village. They drink the sap but do not boil it to produce syrup. Birch trees may be tapped in Alaska and Siberia but the sap is lower in sugar content and quality than maple sap.
So what are you having for breakfast, or dessert?
Photo by Annie Corrigan/WFIU Public Radio, used under Creative Commons license