The maple sugar season has just finished in the south and eastern part of Québec. For the last two weeks of March, maple syrup producers have returned to their rustic wooden cabins and have been harvesting the sweet maple water. Once again, the boiling process has given the woodlands a unique aroma, the one of maple syrup. Miss Maple has selected for you three recipes to enjoy the wonderful flavour of maple syrup and show that it doesn’t just go on pancakes! There is no better way to celebrate the return of spring. Miss Maple, who is based in Godalming, would love to hear about your cooking expertise with maple syrup. Please visit Miss Maple’s website at www.missmaple.co.uk to leave your comments and to find out more about the making of maple syrup.
Green leaf salad with maple-glazed walnuts, apple and pancetta
This salad is a lovely mix of texture and flavours.
For the maple-glazed nuts (a delicious snack on their own): 60ml maple syrup, 1tbsp butter, 80g walnuts or pecan nuts.
Vinaigrette (will dress any salad you like): 60ml mayonnaise, 3tbsp olive oil, ½ garlic clove finely chopped (optional), 2tbsp cider vinegar or white wine vinegar, 1tbsp maple syrup, 1tsp Dijon mustard or English mustard, black pepper.
Green leaf salad: ½ red onion finely sliced (optional), 1 bag of 100g mixed green salad (rocket, spinach, watercress, etc.), 1 big apple or pear peeled and finely sliced, 4 slices of pancetta.
1. Lay a tray with parchment paper, put aside.
2. In a small pan, bring to boil maple syrup and butter and cook for 2 minutes. Add nuts; continue cooking while stirring with a wooden spoon for about 5-7 minutes, until sugar crystals are forming on top of nuts then remove from heat.
3. Pour immediately on the tray and using a spatula spread the mixture quickly and evenly. Salt lightly, if you wish, and let cool completely (that should take 15-20minutes) then break the nuts with a knife on a wooden board.
4. Put the onion slices in a bowl of cold water for 5 minutes to soften them and let dry on kitchen paper.
5. Cook the pancetta in a frying pan, until golden brown, and let cool on kitchen paper before breaking them in pieces.
6. Make the vinaigrette by mixing all the ingredients in a jar until smooth and creamy.
7. Slice the apple or pear just before serving.
8. In a big salad bowl or individual ones, mix gently the salad leaves with the slices of onion. Pour vinaigrette over and top with slices of fruit, maple-glazed nuts and pieces of pancetta.
Maple-glazed salmon fillets
Surprisingly for many, salmon and maple syrup go very well together. Try a simple drizzle of maple syrup over your cooked salmon and voilà!
240g salmon fillets, 2tbsp maple syrup, 2tsp reduced salt soy sauce, 1tbsp fresh grated ginger, ½ small red chilli finely chopped, 1tbsp sesame oil, 1tsp sesame seeds.
1. In a bowl, mix all the ingredients except the fish fillets. Pour the marinade in to an oven proof dish.
2. Add fillets skin-side up and marinate for 15 minutes
3. Preheat oven to 200ºC.
4. Simply turn fillets flesh-side up and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Cook in oven for 12 minutes.
Maple syrup tart
There are probably as many maple syrup tart recipes as there are families in Québec! Rich and velvety, this traditional dessert is the best way to enjoy the maple syrup season. Growing fans of maple syrup, this recipe is for you!
250ml pure maple syrup, 4tbsp corn flour, 4tbsp brown sugar, 375ml double cream, pinch of salt, pie shell or handmade/bought pastry put on 20cm pie dish.
1. Preheat oven 180ºC
2. Put all the ingredients in a pan, mix using a whisk, and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and stir for 5 minutes until it thickens. Let cool for 10 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, cook blind the pie shell for 10 minutes then pour syrup mixture in and cook for 15-20 minutes. Let cool completely and serve with ice cream and fresh berries. Enjoy!