Sunday, July 27, 2008

The Gift of the Maple

Is there anything more delicious than real maple syrup? Once you've tasted the real thing, there's no going back. The light, sweet taste of grade A, light amber maple syrup is truly one of nature's best gifts.

And, if you dry it out, it becomes maple sugar, a treat on toast with butter in the morning or the makings for this tiny maple sugar tart.

I never make a pie without using the scraps of pie dough to line a 4" tart pan for a maple sugar tart. While I was riffing on Molly's apricot tart with a nectarine version (more about that tomorrow), I was already thinking, "Oh, goody, I can make a maple sugar tart, too!"

This little tart is simplicity itself to make. All you do, after lining a little tart pan with whatever pastry you like best, is to mix 1/2 cup unpacked maple sugar with 2 Tbs. of flour and a little salt, then stir in 1/4 cup milk until it is well incorporated. Pour into the tart pan and bake for 15 minutes at 450 degrees, then 350 degrees until thick, about 20 minutes more. Or, you can bake it at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. I usually put it in with whatever pie I'm baking at the time, pulling it out at about 30 minutes of cooking time - as long as the temperature is somewhere between 400 and 350, it does fine.

Cool it on a rack and, when it's thoroughly cool, cut into wedges to serve. It's sweet and a little rich so you won't want to eat the whole thing at one sitting, even though it's small. Take this gift of the maple tree bite by delicious bite and thank heaven for the Gift of the Maple!



Blogger Vicki said...

Oh, this sounds delicious! How do you dry out syrup? Sounds messy :-)

Sunday, July 27, 2008  
Blogger Zoomie said...

Vicki, oops, I didn't mean to imply that I dry it out - I buy it as maple sugar already.

Sunday, July 27, 2008  
Blogger Vicki said...

But see, now you've got me thinking - maybe spread a thin layer of syrup onto a baking sheet, bake it on low for a while, then break it up and blitz in a food processor?

Sunday, July 27, 2008  
Blogger kudzu said...

Oooooh. I adore maple. Have you ever eaten the granulated maple sold in New England? You can sprinkle it into hot cereal, over melted butter to make maple toast -- all sorts of ways to use it. I order it -- haven't seen it around here.

Sunday, July 27, 2008  
Blogger Dagny said...

This might be why I prefer boysenberry syrup on my cakes instead of maple. I've had real maple syrup from New England but in its place boysenberry wins hands down.

Sunday, July 27, 2008  
Blogger Zoomie said...

Vicki, or, if your syrup turned to a sort of brittle candy, it would make a beautiful addition to ice cream...
let me know how the experiment goes!

Kudzu, me, too on both counts - I order it from afar and I adore it!

Dagny, now I'll have to try the boysenberry to see if it stacks up in my book! Sounds dreamy!

Monday, July 28, 2008  

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