Life is about the never ending pursuit of happiness. Men, generally find life a bit dull without variations. Often, products are combined to make a new one or as far as the maple industry is concerned this is possible with the employment of heat and the strength or the lack of stirring. Perhaps one of the most popular sweeteners is the maple syrup and of its many other variations, is the equally well known, maple butter or otherwise known as maple cream. It is relatively smooth, making it dairy like when in fact there is no dairy product involved in the processing of such wonderful spread. In fact, it can even replace traditional butter, surpassing its quality if not merely equaling it, making it rather popular like the main product maple syrup and the other variant maple candy.
How is maple butter made?
Spring is the season most conducive for sap harvest that marks the maple season. It is during this season that the sap goes up to nourish the leaves which become a perfect opportunity to tap the branches and as intended to harvest the maple tree juice. A bore is carefully planted in a slightly upward manner to avoid freezing the sap and breaking the stem so as not to damage the tree. This sap is now gathered by dripping with use of a traditional pail or a more modern way through pipes. The orchard and the sugar house are connected through a channel of pipes, directly allowing the sap to drip from the branches to the pipelines in the sugar house, thereby skipping the process of manual collection which is rather time consuming and physically tiring as far as the sugar makers are concerned. When the sap is ready, heat is employed to start the process of evaporation. With this, liquids are removed through heat transfer making the sap thicker as it goes on. A maple syrup status may be reached when the right consistency of sixty six percent of sugar is achieved in the concoction. Once this happened, the sap is now what we call maple syrup and is ready for packaging. While the maple syrup process ends there, it signals the start of maple butter production at the same time. From that moment on the maple syrup is stirred religiously avoiding any opportunity for the concoction to harden leading to the formation of crystals. Once the maple syrup achieved an even consistency, it is now recognized as maple cream or maple butter, owing its name to its buttery and creamy characteristic.
The maple butter has the spreading ability and fluffiness similar to that of the world famous peanut butter. Ore often than not it is used as a spread instead of as a butter because it is rather tasty than traditional butter. Sometimes it is also used as frost like any other butter variants are. And going back to variations, cinnamon may also be added to add a twist to your maple butter experience. This is aptly called cinnamon maple butter.
How Maple Butter is Made?
Maple cream, also called as maple spread or maple butter, is a confection made from maple syrup that is cooked to at least 234 degrees and cooling it to room temperature while stirring it until its consistency becomes smooth. Grade A maple syrup is the one used to make maple cream; a Grade A maple syrup has a light tan color. A gallon of syrup can make about three kilograms of maple cream.
Maple cream consistency is spreadable and light like that of peanut butter’s consistency. Its name was actually derived from it being described as buttery and creamy, and not because it is made with dairy. Maple butter is in fact the only butter that is dairy-free.
The production of maple syrup and maple-based products can trace its history with the Native Americans even before the Europeans arrived and colonized the continent. The Natives, particularly those who were living in the northern part of the continent like Vermont and in some provinces of Canada, considered maple syrup as a staple part of their diet. They used make-shift tubes and basins made from wood to gather the sap from the maple trees.
Then they would transfer the gathered sap to clay pots and bring it to a boil over fire until the water evaporates and it turned into thick syrup. Maple syrup became the main sweetener of the Native Americans during those times, and different delicacies made from maple syrup, such as maple candy, maple butter, maple sugar, and the very popular sugar on snow.
Through the years, the process of tapping became more and more sophisticated and streamlined as maple products became a well-loved delicacy.
Delicious Delicacies Using Maple Butter
Maple butter or maple cream is one of the most favorite maple products because of creamy and buttery consistency that is perfect sweetener and spread for most bread and pastries. Some people substitute maple-made butter instead of pure butter because of its healthier nutritional components than butter itself. Most lactose intolerant individuals use it as their butter substitute because it is dairy-free.
Most people use maple butter as a tasty spread for toasts, muffins, biscuits, scones, cupcakes, bagels, crepes, and pancakes. If you substitute your regular butter with maple cream on your pancakes before pouring in some maple syrup would result in a beyond decadent breakfast of maple-rich pancakes. Be sure to have some side slices of bacon or baked ham and slices of fruits to complete your delectable breakfast.
Maple butter also goes best with baked sweet potatoes or butternut squash. It can also make an apple pie more delicious with its caramelized sweetness. It can also turn your regular cinnamon toast into an unforgettable snack and eat it with coffee or tea. The strong flavor of coffee and mild flavor of tea both enhances the sweetness of maple.
Crepes can turn into a more enjoyable dessert with a dab of maple cream. It can be paired with any fruit fillings but goes perfectly with sautéed apples and toasted pecans.
This sweet confection is made with pure maple syrup cooked under a high temperature of about 230 degrees and cooled down in room temperature while stirring it until it reaches its smooth and buttery consistency.