Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Maple Sugar (Granulated)

Back in colonial times a good amount of the maple syrup was processed down into maple sugar. This way made it easier to store and transport and it could easily be changed back into syrup by adding water. These days, maple sugar can be substituted partially or completely as a substitute for cane sugar, depending on how much of a maple flavor you want. Try it out as a sweetener in your cereal or tea, or even as a substitute when baking, or when making sauces or glazes for meats. (Just a side note maple syrup in its pure form works great as well with many of these suggestions especially tea.)

Now lets make some maple sugar! Take your maple syrup and boil it to a temperature 40 to 45°F above boiling pure water (boiling water is 207-212°F so you would need your syrup to be 247-252°F) Once you reach this point you need to immediately transfer the syrup to a flat pan or trough, stirring until it reaches granulation and all of the apparent moisture is gone. The next step is to sieve the sugar through a coarse screen (e.g., 1/8-inch hardware screen) to assure all of your product is uniform. Try to pick a day with a low humidity because this can make your sugar making a difficult task.

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