It is incredible the number of products that can be made from maple sap – no other ingredients required. Maple sap can create syrup, hard candy, soft candy, sugar, butter or if carefully fermented – vinegar!
Vinegar is typically made from the sap collected at the end of the season when the sugar content has decreased to the point where syrup can no longer be made. Although it may sound like a modern foodie-type item, maple vinegar was commonly made by pioneers looking to extend the season of culinary creativity linked with the tapping of sugar maples. Check out the following recipe from Catherine Parr Traill found in her book The Emigrant Housekeepers Guide to the Backwoods of Canada circa 1857. We think it sounds tasty – even if you don’t do too much harvesting in your neck of the woods.
In the hot weather, a nice cooling drink can be made with a quart of hot water, a large spoonful of maple syrup, and as much vinegar as will sharpen it; when quite cold, grate a little nutmeg on it, or drop in a little essence of lemon, to flavour it. This is very refreshing in harvest weather.
Fred Johnson, one of our Mountsberg staffers, took on the maple vinegar challenge for 2013. He used a dessert vinegar from PurNatur carried in our Mountsberg gift shop this season. This dessert vinegar is on the sweeter side with enough tartness to satisfy the obligatory vinegar pucker quotient. Fred chose to create a reduction from the vinegar which he and his family enjoyed over warm naan with mozzarella cheese. This is not your pioneer woman’s maple vinegar recipe! We hope you enjoy both the old school and the new and if you have the opportunity to try one of the recipes featured here – let us know your thoughts!
Naan Bread with Maple Vinegar Reduction
1 c PurNatur Dessert Maple Vinegar
1-2tbsp Olive Oil
3/4c Mozzarella cheese
Naan bread (enough to serve 4)
1. Add maple vinegar to a small sauce pan and simmer over low-medium heat
2. Allow the maple vinegar to reduce and thicken until it resembles a balsamic vinegar reduction (watch carefully to ensure you don’t burn it!
3. Brush Naan bread with olive oil (this is a great way to use up stale Naan if you have some in the house
4. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese
5. Drizzle the maple vinegar reduction over the cheese covered Naan
Delicious with homemade soup, stew or pasta or with Fred’s yummy Maple Chick Peas and Lentils. Which Fred and his wife very much enjoyed because as Fred says “after-all who doesn’t like maple syrup on things?”
1/2 can Chickpeas – rinsed
1/2 can Lentils – rinsed
1/4 cup Maple syrup
1 cup Blueberries
- Combine all ingredients in a large frying pan and simmer over medium heat. The water will come out of the ingredients and dilute the maple syrup. Simmer just until the liquid is gone.
Stay tuned – keeping with the savoury theme, next week is a recipe featuring Maple Balsamic Mustard!