Maple season is in full swing! The trees are tapped and the sap is starting to flow, soon the Mountsberg evaporator will be working overtime to churn out gallons of sticky sweet syrup.
Now the question is – what to do with it all? There are only so many pancakes a person can realistically eat without needing to go up a pant size (truth be told, some of these recipes are so good we might need to go up a pant size even without the pancakes!).
For the month or March we will be revealing all our staff’s favourite non-pancake maple recipes featuring the incredible maple products from the Mountsberg gift shop. From maple butter to maple vinegar and maple chipotle bbq sauce to maple balsamic mustard; life sure is tasty when you enjoy maple syrup in creative and interesting ways!
Our first foray into the culinary delights of maple syrup keeps it simple!
I was looking for something tasty to enjoy with my six year old while watching a movie this weekend. We decided to give maple popcorn a try. We broke out our trusty Whirley-Pop (stove-top popcorn maker available from Lee Valley) and in a few minutes had a savoury/sweet treat that we couldn’t stop munching. In fact, next time I think we will have to use separate bowls to keep us from battling it out over the last few kernels. Here is our stove-top recipe but if you don’t have a Whirley Pop – check out the link below for an alternate rendition using air popped kernels.
Whirley-Pop method ingredients
3 tbsp canola oil
2tbsp maple syrup – any grade will do!
1/3 cup popcorn kernels
Salt to taste
Combine oil and maple syrup in the bottom of the pan and place over medium heat. Allow the oil to heat for a minute and then add the popcorn kernels. Agitate the popcorn kernels using the hand crank – this is important – the kernels get quite sticky and need to keep moving to avoid burning. It will take a few minutes for the kernels to start to pop. Once the popping subsides to one or two per second remove from the heat. When the kernels have completely stopped popping remove the lid and give the mixture a sprinkle of salt. Transfer to a serving bowl – or two or three… and enjoy!
Yield: 4-6 servings
Air pop method ingredients
5 cups air popped popcorn
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
1 T butter or vegetable oil
Lightly butter or oil the inside of a bowl or casserole dish large enough to hold the popcorn. Butter a large mixing spoon. Set aside.
Place maple syrup, in a heavy-bottomed, non-reactive sauce pot over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium low and continue boiling until the mixture reaches 236 degrees on a candy thermometer.
Place popcorn in the mixing bowl and drizzle the hot caramel over the popcorn. Working quickly, stir with oiled spoon until all popcorn is coated with caramel.
Cool and store in airtight containers or enjoy immediately.