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Adventures In Maple Sugaring

Due to the 40 to 1 ratio that dictates turning maple sap into syrup (that’s right, it takes 40 gallons of sap to make 1 gallon of syrup – no wonder the stuff is expensive!), we knew that five gallons would not yield much syrup but we decided to give it a go anyway. Woefully unprepared, we ended up boiling the sap down over a number of hours, indoors (which is really not recommended, especially if you have wallpaper anywhere in your house!), in four separate pots. When we were done, the house had been thoroughly humidified and smelled very mapley, indeed.

Boiling down the sap by Eve Fox, Garden of Eating blog, copyright 2011

Something went slightly amiss (there’s no candy thermometer at our house and we appear to have misinterpreted what “sheeting” looks like) and we ended up making maple sugar instead of maple syrup.

Maple Sugar by Eve Fox, Garden of Eating Blog, copyright 2011

I really can’t complain about this mistake — the sugar is rich and startlingly sweet with a lovely mellow maple flavor and surprising hints of vanilla. I’ve been putting a couple lumps in my coffee in the morning and sneaking little spoonfuls here and there when I can no longer resist the urge.

Maple Sugar by Eve Fox, Garden of Eating Blog, copyright 2011

My husband wants to try doing another boil (outside, this time) to see if we can get the timing right to make syrup instead of sugar. I bought a candy thermometer at Woodstock Hardware in preparation and we’re gathering firewood and setting up a fire pit. The weather is supposed to be gorgeous. Wish us luck!

Spoonful of Maple Sugar Licked Clean by Eve Fox, Garden of Eating Blog, copyright 2011

Thanks again to our noble, majestic friends, the maples. Oh, and keep an eye out – a very nice, simple maple pecan scone recipe is coming your way soon.

In case you’d like to try maple sugaring on your own next year, here’s a link to an easy-to-follow how-to that walks you through the process and a very detailed FAQ from Cornell.

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Read more: Desserts, Environment, Food, Lawns & Gardens, Nature, Nature & Wildlife, Outdoor Activities, Vegan, Vegetarian, , ,

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Eve Fox

Eve is the creator of The Garden of Eating, a blog about food--cooking it, eating it, and growing it. She has a legendary love of aprons and can often be found salivating over the fruits and veggies at one of the many farmersí markets near her home in Woodstock, NY. Want even more recipes, photos, giveaways, and food-related inspiration? "Like" the Garden of Eating on Facebook, or follow Eve on Twitter or Pinterest.


+ add your own
1:30AM PDT on Aug 24, 2012

interesting, i haven't tried sugaring but congratulations for trying maple sugaring...

8:43PM PDT on Apr 8, 2012


12:56PM PDT on Apr 1, 2012

interesting, thanks

4:05PM PDT on Mar 29, 2012


5:15PM PDT on Mar 26, 2012

Mmmmm yum! I would love to try this some day. When I was a little girl our local health food store sold these amazing maple sugar sweets. I haven't seen any in years and years, but I still remember how delicious they were. Good luck with your experiments!

11:32AM PDT on Mar 26, 2012

Interesting article. Thanks.

11:26PM PDT on Mar 25, 2012

Thank you for this enjoyable article.

7:56PM PDT on Mar 25, 2012

Loving this.

7:44PM PDT on Mar 23, 2012

i love maple sugar and syrup

10:11AM PDT on Mar 23, 2012

Am loving this article.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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