Thursday, September 1, 2011

Homemade Maple Cream/Maple Butter

 Disclaimer: Do not make this stuff if you have a big sweet tooth, seriously love maple, and think you could sit down with a spoon and a jar and do serious damage to your waistline.  Because I gotta say it is taking all my will power not to do just that.  


I have shoved it to the back of the fridge, happy that I only made half a batch.  I will not allow myself to make this more than once every few months.  For one thing, good maple syrup is spendy!  For another, well I just don't have enough gumption to stay out of it.  This is one exceptionally decadent, (and sweet), condiment.  You may have seen it on the shelf of some specialty stores or very well stocked grocery stores at an exorbitant price.  That kind is lighter in color than mine because it is made from Grade A fancy maple syrup.  I made mine with Grade B because that was all I had on hand.  We just used up the last of the A for sourdough pancakes this week.  ☺  So you will notice that the maple cream pictured has not only the consistency, but also the color of peanut butter.  It's still awesome, but I will use the Grade A in future for color and authenticity.  Also, the Grade A has the total sugar solids that will work the best for creaming as the recipe is written.  I did have to cook the B a bit more and stir longer to get it to cream properly.  All things considered though, I have made the maple sugar candy before and while it is really tasty, this delicious spread is a much easier undertaking, B or A.  More forgiving on timing.  And it still has that super creamy melt in mouth consistency of the commercial maple butters I have tried.

So if you are unfamiliar with maple butter or maple cream, it is basically a confection/spread.  Pure, 100% maple syrup is what you get in the stores though I add a wee bit of butter to prevent too much foaming.  This is optional or replaceable with coconut oil or another vegetable oil if you need it to be dairy free.  All it takes is a saucepan, a candy thermometer (calibrated), and a little time.  And of course the syrup.  So what do we use it for?  A spread for toast, bagels, muffins, pancakes, waffles, doughnuts, cupcakes and crepes; eaten straight out of the jar; a topping for sweet potatoes or baked squash; an inclusion in fruit pies; sweetener for coffee and tea; whatever other uses you can imagine!  If you love maple bars from the bakery, you will love this stuff.  I also understand there is a cinnamon maple cream - just add cinnamon - which I imagine would yield a phenomenal cinnamon toast!  Remember if you try this out that hot sugar syrup of any kind has the potential to cause serious burns.  Please be careful and keep the kids out of the kitchen for this one.

Homemade Maple Cream
makes about 1 lb

2 cups Grade A Light or Medium Amber pure maple syrup (for best, most consistent results, stick with Grade A)
¼ tsp butter (or cream or milk or oil)

Before you start, fill the sink or a large pan with cold water and a few ice cubes.  Next fill a 2 Qt saucepan halfway with water and bring to a boil to determine the boiling point for your candy thermometer.  Empty out the water and put in the syrup and butter.  Boil over medium high heat without stirring, until the temperature reaches 24º over your water boiling point.  Watch closely at the end, the temperature can move fast then.  Immediately remove from heat and place in the pan or sink of cold water.  Leave the thermometer in.  Do not stir or disturb the syrup while it is cooling or cystals may form prematurely.  When the syrup is nearly at room temperature, remove from the water bath.  Stir slowly with a wooden spoon until the syrup loses its gloss and starts to turn opaque.  This can take up to 15 minutes.  Go slowly, you don't want to whip air into it.  The consistency of peanut butter is the aim here.  When it is nice and thick and your arm is ready to fall off, spoon it into clean glass jars and store in the refrigerator.

10 comments:

Sue/the view from great island said...

This maple cream sounds like it would be perfect on scones. My favorite scone is a maple oat nut recipe, and I can only assume that this cream/butter would make it over the top.

Cookie baker Lynn said...

Oh. My. Gosh. How did you know that just two days ago I stood in the store with a package of maple cream cookies, wondering how I could make them myself? This looks perfect for cookie filling!

hobby baker said...

@Cookie baker Lynn - Ooo, Ooo! Your heavenly blondies completely from scratch? Now that would be worth experimenting. I might take it a couple degrees higher for just a touch more firmness. Or possibly mix with some Spectrum for the same end. Even store bought maple cream tends to slump back to the lowest point in its container.

Barefeet In The Kitchen said...

This sounds dangerously delicious!

Anonymous said...

if you whip the cream instead of mixing it with a wooden spoon it becomes lighter and fluffier. as a kid I remember eating maple butter that was light and almost mousse-like

hobby baker said...

@ anon - I don't know if the physics of crystallization would allow for whipping. I think the heat of crystallization at that speed would throw off the temperature balance and turn it to solid maple sugar candy once it cooled completely. Or you might end up with a grainy product. All of the information I have read about making it said specifically not to whip and to only stir by hand. (Unless you have expensive candy making machinery.) I'd be willing to try though. ☺ I think that whipping a little softened butter into a batch of maple cream would give that absolutely heavenly mousse like result you are describing.

chelsey said...

i tired this recipe but i am worried that it isn't thick enough. it tastes absolutely wonderful, but it is only peanut butter consistency when it is cold. should it also be that consistency when it has been out of the fridge for a while?

hobby baker said...

Chelsey - I'm so glad you tried it and it tastes good! Homemade cream does need to be refrigerated, and mine tends to get looser when it warms up too. Even the store jars I have tried at least all slump down to one level after sitting a while. But you're right, if you want to use it for a cookie filling or something, it might need tweaking. You could always mix in a little powdered sugar for a quick fix if that is your aim. Otherwise, if you want it to be a little more firm, I would try cooking it just a degree or two higher. You also can get creamier results by letting it cool to a slightly lower temp before beating. That gives you smaller seed crystals but it is harder to beat that way. For specific temperatures, it tends to be cook to 235º and cool to 125º. (Sea level temps.) Then stir until your arm falls off, just like fudge until it begins to lose its shine. I think I may try another batch soon, you've got me thinking about it now! Oh, and remember to calibrate your thermometer!

chelsey said...

Can I re-cook it after it's already been beaten, or will that ruin the crystal structure?

hobby baker said...

Ooo, that's a good question. Re-batching it would definitely firm it up, hopefully not to the point of turning to maple cream candy. If you want to try it, I would add back maybe a teaspoon to a tablespoon of water while you're melting it down over medium low heat. Because the initial cooking session was basically to cook out enough water to get it to the crystal stage for cream, it would be too easy to overshoot the temp just trying to remelt. Then you'd get the sugar candy. Which is good, but not spreadable! ☺

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