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Coming from New England, I have to have maple syrup around: it is one of life’s wondrous staples and I love its smell. There are lots of imitations out there, Mrs. Butterworth’s for example, but nothing beats the real stuff.
Maple syrup is made from the sap of the sugar maple, red maple or black maple trees, according to Wikipedia. I never knew there were so many species of maple. These trees store starch in their trunks and roots before winter and convert it to sugar (sap) in the spring. The syrup is obtained by tapping the tree (boring a hole into the trunk) and hanging a bucket below the hole. Heating the raw syrup evaporates much of its water content, leaving concentrated sweetness.
Native Americans were the first to collect maple syrup and the practice was adopted by European settlers. Vermont is still the largest producer in the US, generating about 5.5% of the world’s supply.
When I was little and we had a fresh snowfall, Mom gave us a bottle of maple syrup, which we poured on the snow, a quick dessert. Today I’ll share a recipe for maple pumpkin pie that I found in a magazine a while back (apologies for not being able to cite it) and that makes my taste buds sing.
MAPLE PUMPKIN PIE
9 inch prepared deep dish pie crust in a pan
15 oz can pumpkin puree
1 cup grade B maple syrup
1 cup heavy cream
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp ground ginger
½ tsp nutmeg
½ tsp allspice
- Heat oven to 350o. Place pie crust on cookie sheet.
- Whisk together pumpkin puree, maple syrup, heavy cream, eggs, spices, and salt.
- Pour into prepared crust.
- Bake 50-60 min, until center is just set.
- Set on rack to cool completely.