St Croix River Road Ramblings

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Thursday, April 11, 2013

Maple Sugar Candy

Stalling yet this morning with the snow almost stopped, the cabin warm, and not really ready to work on the Old Settler's book, decided I needed something sweet to go with my coffee.  Nothing at all on hand, and everything takes too long to cook to satisfy an immediate craving, looking around I spied the quart jar of syrup I kept from the first batch of 2013 syrup.  The rest of the 3 gallons went to Dick and Jeremy, who did most all of the work up to that point.

Maple sugar!  An instant answer.  The process is illustrated here.

Ingredients:  1/4 cup maple syrup, butter or margarine to smear the inside rim of the bowl to keep it from boiling over and a microwave

Zap on high for about 4 minutes (depends on your microwave). My low power cabin microwave was set for 6 minutes.  At home it is 3 minutes in the heavy duty one.  Cabin takes 2 minutes to heat a cup of coffee, at home 1 minute.  

Take it out and stir rapidly as it cools.  If you don't stir, it will either be gummy (too little heating) or turn into a rock-sucker (too much cooking).  The air needs to be stirred in to make it grainy--maple sugar.  If you do it on the stove, bring it to about 236 degrees.

Starts turning whiter as it cools and the stirring crystalizes it

Suddenly, while still hot its starts to harden.  Means I cooked it a little too much.  Rush to pour it into the platter before it hardens. 

Got it too hot.  It is still pretty good--wonderful maple flavor and slightly hard, but not really too bad--based on cooking can range from too soft to quite hard, but stirring makes it OK.  I quickly cut it into pieces.  One piece saturates the sugar craving, so as soon as finish licking the spoon and cleaning the out the dish I will get to working on the book.   Back where there were 4 boys, it was a scramble.  Mom had to stir with two spoons so Ev and I each got one, Byron the fudge kettle, and Marvin, who couldn't stand sweet things, just wondered why the rest of us were so silly fighting who got the spoon to lick!
Now the coffee is cold--have to zap that too.