How to Infuse Maple Syrup

8 Ways to Contribute on Earth Day

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Few things are as satisfying as made-from-scratch breakfasts on weekend mornings. A sizzling griddle, the smell of coffee enveloping the kitchen, shamelessly wearing pajamas until noon – what’s not to love? Whether your go-to breakfast is pancakes, waffles, or some sweet, magical hybrid (Handle the Heat combines waffles and doughnuts!), the common ground is passing the maple syrup around the table.

We know it and love it as a sweet and pourable pancake topper, but have you considered getting out the maple syrup bottle past 10 am? The syrup is a surprisingly versatile ingredient, lending itself well to sweet pastries (like these smoked bacon biscuits!), as well as savory main dishes.

We recently caught up with Tim Burton, the mastermind behind the maple syrup production hub, Burton’s Maplewood Farm. The company has given traditional maple syrup a twist that transcends breakfast, encouraging customers to think beyond the waffle. Burton’s method? Aging maple syrup for twelve months in liquor barrels that formerly held whiskey, bourbon, rum and brandy. The company will even partner with bourbon-producing giant Pappy Van Winkle this fall to develop a high-end, unique barrel-aged syrup that whiskey aficionados can’t wait to taste!

We’re taking a hint from Burton’s and trying our hand at homemade maple syrup infusions. You can try it, too! As Burton advises, pick out your favorite herbs, spices, or flavors (think cooked pieces of bacon or chopped rosemary). Put them in a small saucepan, adding however much maple syrup you’d like to infuse. More spice equals more intense flavor. Cook the mixture on medium heat until the desired intensity is achieved. It’s as simple as that!

Try some of these flavor infusions to get started:

  • Bacon – The smoky flavor will enhance the maple, making it an excellent choice for breakfast dishes, BBQ sauces or even atop roasted Brussels sprouts!
  • Dill – Burton recommends finely chopping dill and heating it with maple syrup to glaze both sides of salmon filets before cooking.
  • Citrus – Add orange rind and cinnamon sticks for syrup that’s divine drizzled over cinnamon rolls or peaches for a simple dessert.

The options are endless! So get in the kitchen and start experimenting with your favorite herbs and spices. If you’re intrigued, but not as confident developing your own combinations yet, then stick to these tried and true maple recipes from Clabber Girl.

Maple Bourbon Pecan Tart

The nuttiness of the pecans, paired with brown sugar, bourbon and sweetness of the maple makes this a winning fall entertaining dessert.

Sweet Potato and Sausage Pancakes

Sweet potato, sausage and syrup IN the pancakes? Hearty enough for breakfast at dinnertime!

4 comments

  1. Oh this is really neat! My grandmother used Maple Syrup (from Kentucky) and blended herbs and fruits and would pour maple syrup over fruit to mellow. We brined poultry in this too…and a basic brine was maple syrup, salt, herbs from the garden. One of the best we did was cherries from the tart cherry trees.

    Right this minute, I have sloe plums mellowing in Maple Syrup and another with St. Germain’s and Maple Syrup from Quebec and one of the best going is Bourbon, Maple Syrup, herbs to glaze Salmon.

    We try to attend the maple tapping across the river in Indiana so this is really exciting.

    Great article,
    Jennifer Dillon

  2. ASAP REQUEST I am boiling down as I write, the last of this season’s maple sap harvest. Searching with no success for methods of infusing (home base) fruits like blueberries, apples, black Berries and strawberrries, maybe even cinnamon into the yes to be bottled maple syrup Can you help????

    1. Hi Joe,

      One way that you could infuse your fruit into your syrup is by heating the maple syrup in a sauce pan and then adding the fruit, letting the mixture simmer until the fruit is softened. Then, remove from the heat and let steep for 30 minutes. For every cup of syrup, use one cup of fruit.

      Good luck!

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