Maple cream is a creamy spread that’s great on toast, muffins, fresh homemade bread– or just on a spoon straight from the jar.
It’s called “butter” but there’s no cream or butter in the recipe. It’s just pure maple syrup that has been boiled, cooled then stirred (and stirred… and stirred…) until the syrup crystallizes in just the right way and makes a smooth, spreadable paste.
Maple cream has a remarkable texture, like something out of Willy Wonka’s magic candy factory. It’s both granular and impossibly smooth. It’s hard when you first eat it, then collapses and disappears on your tongue.
You’ll find yourself having another spoonful… then another… just to relive the effect.
- 3 cups pure maple syrup
- ¼ teaspoon oil
- Pinch of salt
Boil maple syrup over medium heat until it reaches 235 degrees F, about 15-20 minutes.
Stir the syrup as little as possible while cooking but watch the pot constantly in case it boils over, in which case you should stir the syrup down. Don’t worry if it smells slightly of burn sugar while cooking – it won’t affect the taste.
A few minutes before the syrup reaches the desired temperature, fill a large pot with ice, then nestle a smaller pot (or stainless steel bowl) down into the ice. The smaller pot needs to be large enough to hold your 3 cups of hot maple syrup.
Once the syrup reaches 235 degrees F, pour it into the smaller pot sitting in the ice cubes, then let cool to 100 degrees F, about 5-8 minutes.
Remove the syrup from the ice and start stirring the hot maple syrup with a wooden spoon. You don’t have to stir fast, but you do have to stir constantly. Think tortoise, not hare – slow and steady wins the race.
It takes about 15 minutes of constant stirring to make maple cream. It’s fun at first, then less fun, then not fun at all when your arm starts to ache. Best thing to do is make maple cream with another person so you can take turns stirring.
And resist the temptation to use your stand mixer. The maple cream gets quite stiff and you risk burning out the motor on the machine.
When the syrup starts to lighten and resembles thick peanut butter, the maple cream is done.
Immediately pour it into a jar and cover. You have about 30 seconds to get the maple cream into the jar before it hardens up, so don’t delay.
Makes one 500 ml Mason jar.