Homemade Maple Syrup

How to Make Homemade Maple Syrup

So I made an attempt this morning and it turned out somewhat of a failure only because I thought it was too runny and I boiled my syrup for too long.  When it finally came to room temperature it had crystallized and was completely solid … lesson learned! However, the nice thing about a sugar and water mixture is a little heat (and a little additional water), we were back to the smooth delicious maple syrup we started with and this time it did not solidify! I have heard if you don’t get the cooking process to a “T”, you may notice crystals forming as it cools or as it sits between uses. The sugar crystals do not mean it has gone bad and again just a little heat will remelt the crystals … just minimize any additional boiling. 

IMG 4546 - Homemade Maple Syrup
Since this was only my second time making maple syrup and I have no idea what recipe I followed the first time, I used this recipe as a starting point. I can definitely see myself entirely replacing syrup with a few tweaks from now on … until I find my own maple tree to tap, which very easily will happen at some point! {You can laugh and think I am crazy, I do it often!}

Homemade Maple Syrup

1 cup of granulated (white) sugar
1 cup of brown sugar
1 cup of water
1 tablespoon of maple flavoring or extract
Combine sugars and water in a sauce pan.  Bring to a boil. Add maple flavoring or extract. Reduce heat to medium and boil for exactly 3 minutes.  Transfer to a glass bottle. Store in refrigerator or pantry out of direct heat and light. Makes about 2 cups.
Pure maple syrup straight from a place like Funk’s Grove, which is a very neat educational experience I would encourage anybody in the area to check out, says to refrigerate. After doing a little research, I notice others don’t find that is necessary. I am not an expert on this but my guess would be if you have pure maple syrup refrigeration is a good idea. On the other hand, maple syrup made from your typical-easy-to-find flavoring which most likely has preservatives probably would be fine in the pantry. I have mine in the fridge now and will have to update later as for the consistency after it has been in there for a while. The only complaint about refrigeration is waiting for the syrup to come to room temperature for easy pouring and use.

Update 4/20/15: The consistency has remained impeccable and only a few crystals on the bottom of the jar after being in the fridge for two days. I am sure I will notice more crystals as time passes, but am extremely please with the outcome!

Update 4/22/15: Used my maple syrup on waffles today. SO GOOD! It reminded me of Mrs. Butterworth’s which is what I would only use before I started shopping at Aldi. I took a moment to compare my Aldi branch syrup with my homemade maple syrup, alternating tastes of each … there was really nothing to compare, homemade was better, hands down!

Additional Cost: maple flavoring ~$5 (also available on amazon and at a few local locations)
Cost Comparison: ~$1.50 for 16 oz. homemade syrup VS. ~$2 for 24 oz. store bought depending on brand
Based on cost alone there isn’t much savings, but we did eliminate a few unnecessary ingredients. As for the maple flavoring I had on hand, it did use a few ingredients I would rather not have in my syrup and will be trying out the “All-Natural Frontier Maple Flavor” I linked above when I need more maple flavoring.
I have come to realize through most of this process, cost has been a sticking point for me. If I can make a better product for less, I am all over it! However, I am less motivated to continue making a product if the cost is more for homemade. This is an area I am working on changing because as we all know we are what we eat!
Today’s Question: Do you know anyone that has their own sugar maple tree?
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