Monday, March 23, 2015

Vermont Maple Cream

Maple Cream on Gluten-free Toast

It made sense for my mother - a woman who canned, fermented dandelions and wild grapes, and foraged the backroads for wild fruits, nuts and berries to give making maple syrup a try.

We had two old sugar maples on the front lawn of our Main Street Bakersfield (Vermont) property. 

Our tiny 70’s kitchen with its orange/harvest brown theme was filled with fragrant, sweet steam.

She boiled a bucket of sap on the electric stove, added another the following day, and repeated until she had a batch of sketchy “maple tar”.

No matter, it wasn’t a cost or labor-effective endeavor.

Far easier to truss my sister and I in parkas  – the ones that caught our Adam’s apples in the zipper – and travel down the road to a sugar maker in the avocado-green wood-paneled station wagon.

I remember that she would sit diligently at the stove on the “step-stool”; periodically dropping teaspoonfuls of boiling sugar into a bowl of cold water to discern soft ball or hardball stage to make fudges and toffees or sugar-on-snow.  

Unfortunately, candy-making didn’t stick to me.  

To make this recipe I watched a how-to video by America’s Test Kitchen.

It took four tries to get an acceptable result, but the experience was worth it. 


Oil is necessary to stop boiling over.

Calibrate the thermometer with boiling water to 212f and adjust the recipe accordingly. 

The temperature outside this time of year will chill hot syrup in 15 -20 minutes without having to make or buy ice.

Vermont Maple Cream 
Maple Cream
Adapted from America’s Test Kitchen
Makes about 1/2 cup


1 Cup Fancy or Grade A Maple Syrup

¼ tsp. Canola Oil

Special Equipment: candy or digital alarm thermometer

In a 2-quart saucepan, bring syrup to boil over medium-low heat. Make sure thermometer is not touching the bottom.

When the temperature reaches 235f, remove from heat.

Pour syrup into the bowl of a stand mixer and move to the porch to cool, or place in a bowl of ice until 100f.

Stir with a paddle on the lowest setting until pale in color and no longer glossy or beat by hand for 20-30 minutes.

Finished cream will be the texture of peanut butter.

Store in refrigerator.  Some separation is normal.