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March 30, 2009

What A Sap

One of the first (and most drastic) food related price increases that I noticed over the past year or so was the cost of maple syrup. I found it hard to justify the high price of the real thing at the best of times, but when the price almost doubled last spring, there was no way.

There are lots of other things that you can drizzle over a nice stack of pancakes: homemade jam, pear honey, apple sauce (the only way I'd eat them as a kid), or how about homemade creamy honey syrup. But if you crave the traditional taste of maple syrup, it's very easy to recreate at home. My mom always made her own when I was growing up - it's really inexpensive, and tastes a whole lot better than most store bought pancake syrup.

Homemade "Maple" Syrup (makes 2 cups, but can be doubled):

  • 1 cup brown sugar (you can use all white, but the brown adds richness)
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tsp. maple flavoring (may need to adjust amount depending on brand)


Combine sugars and water in a pot. Bring mixture just to the boil (don't let it bubble for more than a minute or two or you'll end up with hard candy). Remove from heat and stir in the maple flavoring. Will thicken as it cools.

Decant into a pitcher or jar to serve (I say this, but more often than not we end up serving it warm right from the pot because we don't realize we're out of syrup until the pancakes are almost done).

This tastes great over homemade blueberry pancakes, but it's also good stirred into plain yogurt, layered with yogurt, fruit, and granola to make a yummy breakfast parfait, or over ice cream.

It may not be the healthiest recipe in my repertoire, but it's definitely one of the most used.


17 comments:

Chiot's Run said...

This is why we tapped our own maple trees this year and made our own maple syrup. We're also getting bees to make our own honey, you can't beat those prices. We also like the fact that we know exacalty what's going in to the product, no chemicals or unecessary medications, etc.

Kim said...

My husband grew up eating that kind of syrup. They never had real syrup. I've gotten him into real syrup but I always keep good maple flavoring in the pantry just in case. I know he'd be happy with the fake stuff if I needed to lol.

BurdockBoy said...

That would be tough for me since I spent so much time in Northern Wisconsin-even tapping my own trees and making my own syrup. But you're right, if the price goes up anymore I may have to try this one.

And organic almond butter. My wife had price shok over that the other day.

Anonymous said...

No way!! You might as well eat "butter flavoured" grocery store crap. i grew up in ontario/quebec and no matter how much it climbs, i'm sticking to the real stuff. if you have someone who could ship you some from ontario/qc, it might be cheaper.

Michelle Ellis said...

Yum! I am having a hard time finding natural maple extract. I've noticed the price of maple syrup going sky high too....

Heather said...

I grew up making that kind of syrup and have never heard of anyone else making it. Fun to be reminded of it. I have a hard time justifying the price of maple syrup too so we use a lot of fruit butters and syrups that I preserve in the summer. I think peach butter is our favourite for waffles.

Frugal Canadian Hermit said...

I will have to try this one out, sometime soon. Sounds good to me.

Anonymous said...

I have followed your posts for quite awhile and this one is an example of why I always check back with you.
Sometimes we just cannot do what we want to do-maybe its no maple trees in the front yard, no $8 in the pocket for a small maple syrup--but you Cheryl always find a creative way of making a life for your family and we learn from you as you share with us.
Just this week I stood with my granddaughter(maple syrup lover) in the supermarket and told her we just could not pay 8.50...she said that is ok what I really like is Grandpas buckwheat pancakes anyway. We will try this recipe!
Elaine in KC

Queen of Scatterville said...

What a great recipe to have on hand! I am always running out of syrup right when the pancakes are done. Thanks for sharing.

deb said...

This is a great idea plus this is healthier than the store-brand imitation kinds. Thanks for sharing the recipe too.

We are boiling sap this weekend and making maple syrup. This is our first try at it so we'll see how it turns out.

* * *

I recently came across an old blog post of yours about making soy milk. I'm interested in this idea and was wondering if you still do this? It sounds super easy. Something I could do! ;)

Enjoy your weekend!

Frugal Canadian Hermit said...

Well I just made my first batch of syrup ever. I think poor old Aunt Jemima just lost my business. Thanks for that recipe.

Cheryl said...

I thought this recipe might be somewhat controversial. As always, I appreciate your comments!

Not having access to sugar maples here on the west coast, I'm out of luck on tapping my own trees (although I did read recently that the maples we do have produce a decent syrup, but of course we don't have any close by!). Having had the butter flavored crap, I can honestly say this version is much better! ;D

Elaine - Thank you so much for your lovely comment, it was very much what I needed to hear at the time. :)

Deb - Yes, the soy milk is something that we have done for a long time. The machine makes it really easy, although it does benefit from the second straining.

Frugal Canadian Hermit - I'm so glad you like it!

dawn said...

Wow, that is a great recipe. Thanks for sharing it. I will be trying it for sure. I will have to make pancakes now. I might even make them for supper one night this week.

Cheryl said...

Mmm, I love pancakes for dinner!

beautythatmoves said...

hi cheryl!!! you are a brilliant woman... i love this idea.

i hope you are getting into your garden soon!

Cheryl said...

Hi Heather!
Thanks, I hope you enjoy it!

Lo said...

Amen on the expense of maple syrup -- and that's such a shame. Maple is far more healthful than other sugars, so we've not given up on it yet.

That said, making syrup is a good idea. Have you tried using fenugreek instead of the maple flavoring?

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