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  • Writer's pictureChef Kelly Unger

Maple Syrup, the taste of Fall

Pennsylvania produces 5% of the total maple syrup in the U.S., with Vermont, Maine, New York and Wisconsin ahead of us and Ohio and New Hampshire at 4%. I feel lucky to live in a state that produces so much of this delicious, healthy and versatile sweetener. It is amazing to me that it takes 10 gallons of raw syrup to make 1 quart of the delicious liquid gold we enjoy. And while we enjoy maple syrup year round, I feel like it's flavor is best suited to Fall flavors and recipes. Maple Syrup loves the Fall spices of clove, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and allspice. It pairs perfectly with pumpkin anything!

While we all love maple syrup on our pancakes and waffles, there are savory applications as well. Use maple syrup to glaze carrots, sweet potatoes or other vegetables, and to add a touch of sweetness to salad dressing for a Fall salad with apples and walnuts. Maple syrup and balsamic vinegar are good friends. Maple syrup also loves a touch of cayenne to form a sweet heat glaze on pork.

You know how I love a good collection of recipes, so here is one from Epicurious, my no fail site for inspiration. 65 Maple Syrup recipes! The first recipe, Baked Cinnamon Toast with Fruit, is shown with berries, but apples and pears can also be used. The Deep Dish Maple Bourbon Cream Pie really speaks to me. And since carrots are in season, I would definitely give the Harissa and Maple Roasted Carrots a try. You can find Pennsylvania maple syrup from Tybuk Farm and local bourbon at the Doylestown Farmers Market this Saturday from 8am to 1pm on South Hamilton Street in the Borough between West State and West Oakland Aves.

Often I'll share my recipe for caramel using local honey or maple syrup in classes when appropriate, as I just did last week in the French Style Stuffed Pumpkin & Homemade Brownies. We made this delicious, quick and easy caramel to drizzle on our just out of the oven brownies. I like to gild the lily. The key to making this caramel is to stir CONSTANTLY and to allow the mixture to boil for 2 minutes (set a timer). It will boil like Vesuvius if you stop stirring. Add pinches of sea salt, if you like, as a garnish. Enjoy this sauce drizzled on just about anything, especially apples, if you're trying to be good. Enjoy!

Kelly's Caramel Sauce with Maple Syrup

1 cup firmly packed brown sugar

½ cup butter (I prefer salted, can be unsalted)

¼ cup heavy whipping cream

¼ cup pure maple syrup (or raw honey)

Put all ingredients into a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium high heat, stirring constantly, boil for 2 minutes while stirring constantly. Remove from heat and cool for 10 to 15 minutes. Store in a ball jar in the refrigerator for 1-2 weeks, microwave in 30 second increments to reheat.

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