Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Maple butter

maple cream

I have been thinking about maple butter for quite a long time, possibly months.

Think of the potential here. Pure maple syrup transformed into a delicious paste means you can sandwich it in between two cookies, or spread it on toast for breakfast.

What this also implies is an even more practical way of getting maple syrup into my belly. I can eat it straight with a spoon, without making a drippy mess of my fridge area. Genius.

maple cream

Maple butter is kind of a misleading name though, but the name maple cream isn't really much better, in my opinion. There's no cream or butter here. It's just pure maple syrup that has been boiled, cooled and stirred so that the syrup crystallizes in just the right way to give it this spreadable smooth texture.

Whatever you want to call it, this spreadable maple stuff is good. It's really good.

maple cream

The science behind maple butter is relatively simple. You just boil maple syrup until it reaches 235°F (a.k.a 22–24°F over the boiling point of water). By doing this, you are basically concentrating the sugar, making it easier to crystallize because all the tiny sugar molecules are now really close to each other in the syrup. Icing the concentrated syrup quickly drops its temperature, again another step favoring crystallization (and specifically smaller, finer crystals over bigger, chunky crystals). In the final step, you stir the mixture for a very long time (crystallization is a process, so patience is key here): eventually it will turn opaque/creamy-looking and become maple butter.

I encourage you to sample after cooling the syrup both before and after the long stirring process because the mouth feel is really quite different, and that's how you know it's "done". However, avoid sampling the boiling hot syrup. It may be tempting, but it'll burn you really badly.

Maple butter

Published: May 23rd, 2013, Cook time: 10-ish minutes
    Makes 1 large jar (~500 mL)
  • 500 mL maple syrup (I used Grade A, amber syrup from Quebec)
  • 1/4 tsp canola oil (apparently helps prevent the syrup from boiling over)

  1. In a deep saucepan, boil the maple syrup with the oil, until it reaches about 235°F on medium–high heat.
  2. Immediately, transfer the boiled syrup to your stand mixer bowl, and drop the bowl into a big ice bath to cool the syrup down to about 60°F. Then let the syrup warm back up to room temperature.
  3. With the paddle attachment, beat the syrup on low for a very, very long time (like 30 minutes even) until it turns opaque and the color of sesame butter (the texture on your tongue when you sample it will go from syrupy at the beginning of the process to very finely powdery).
  4. Quickly transfer the maple butter to a large jar and store in the fridge.
  5. If the maple butter separates at any point, just give it a good stir before using.

20 comments:

  1. I am so making this soon! Since we have so much maple syrup in our area I can't pass this recipe up! Thanks for sharing! :)

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    1. Definitely! Let me know how it goes :)

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  2. Saw this on tastespotting. This looks beyond easy. I'm so making this!!

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    1. You must! Seriously! I had no idea how good maple butter was until I made it, and then I couln't stop eating it ;)

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  3. Thank you for this tutorial! Pinning it now :)

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    1. I hope it helps and that you get to make maple butter soon!

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  4. maple syrup for the win!! this looks awesome

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    1. I know, lol! I don't think I could live without maple. Thanks for stopping by :)

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  5. Replies
    1. Thanks. I wish I can claim that I invented this one ;)

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  6. This looks incredible. Two questions: 1. do the temperatures need to be exact - do I really need a candy thermometer? 2. Will a hand-mixer do if I don't have a stand mixer? Thanks!!

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    1. Hand mixer is definitely an option. The beating is a little long, so you will have to stand there holding the hand mixer for awhile, but it'll definitely work! As for the temp, I highly recommend you get a candy thermometer (they even have them at the grocery store!) but if you can't, you can test the maple syrup temp by dropping a little in a cup of cold water: it should be just at the soft ball stage. Here's a chart explaining this: http://baking911.com/quick-guide/how-to-az/candy-sugar-syrup-temperature-chart

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    2. My pleasure! Please let me know how it goes :)

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  7. Does anyone know if you can waterbath can this?

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    1. I'm not positive, but I think canning is possible BUT the maple butter separates with time, so if you store it too long, then you will have a syrup layer over the butter. According to this site, it's best to freeze it for long term storage to preserve texture and flavor: http://www.goodwinfamilymaple.com/faq.php
      Hope this helps!

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  8. About how long would this last in the refrigerator? Just curious.
    I am pinning this and would love to attempt this. I've been wanting to do this...cornbread with FRESH maple butter..
    Thank you!

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    1. I am so glad you will be making this maple butter! It would definitely be excellent on fresh cornbread :)
      It's hard to say how long this keeps as websites recommend keeping up to 6 months. It's important to keep it refrigerated in a closed jar. And another thing to note: some syrup might separate out of the maple butter after storing for a little while, so you might have a layer of syrup over the maple butter in the jar. Hope that helps!

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  9. I made this, but I'm not sure if I've done it right. XD it's still beating on my kitchenaid and the colour looks right but the texture seems very thin. Oh well, if it doesn't come together I'm still going to eat it. Perhaps I didn't cook it long or hot enough.

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    1. Definitely, still delicious even if it's a little thin ;)
      You are right, Samantha, it could be a temperature issue, but it also might keep crystallizing and "setting" as it cools. I find even when I think it's cooled, it still sets more a little afterwards. Good luck and let me know how it turns out in the end!

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