Recipes to Celebrate the Sugaring Season
Did you know Vermont is the country’s leading producer of maple syrup, accounting for more than half of all maple syrup made in 2020? Compared to last year, our 2021 sugarmaking season began a little later, but we’ve been boiling rather steadily throughout the past weeks, with short breaks for cold snaps. To celebrate the season, we’re sharing four delicious recipes: Vermont Maple Apple French Toast Bake, Maple Marshmallows, Maple Glazed Carrots, and Maple Balsamic Dressing.
To learn more about our woodlands management and sugarmaking practices, check out these articles:
- Maple Sugaring at the Climate Changes
- Expanding a Sugarbush, Tending the Woods
- A Bird-Friendly Sugarbush
Maple Glazed Carrots
Recipe by Shelburne Farms Executive Chef John Patterson
Yield: 4 side portions
- 1 lb mixed baby carrots, tops removed (larger carrots may also be used, but cut to bite sized pieces)
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
- zest and juice from 1 lime
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- salt to taste
- Carefully wash the carrots, making sure to get any grit that may have accumulated at the top of the carrot, just at the base of the greens. Toss the carrots with the olive oil to coat evenly. Season with salt and transfer onto a roasting rack on a sheet tray. Roast the carrots in an oven at 450°F for 12–15 minutes; you want the carrots to take on a little roasting color, but still have a little bit of a bite. Remove carrots and allow to cool.
- In a small saucepan, combine the maple syrup and sherry vinegar. Bring the mixture to a boil and reduce the volume by half. Remove the pan from the heat, add lime zest and juice. Carefully spoon the mixture onto the carrots while they are still on the rack. If you have a pastry brush, use it for this step. Place the carrots back into the oven for 2 more minutes. This step allows the maple glaze to better adhere to the carrots, and for the excess syrup to run off so that the carrots aren’t too sweet. Finish with any additional salt to your taste.
Vermont Maple Apple French Toast Bake
Makes 4-6 servings
This recipe is adapted from the Vermont FEED’s New School Cuisine: Nutritious and Seasonal Recipes for School Cooks by School Cooks. Released in 2013, the cookbook was made in effort to share recipes among child nutrition professionals who cook food that nourishes children’s bodies and minds. Find it in PDF form as a free download here, including this recipe scaled up for school-sized quantities.
- 1 apple, cored and cut into 8 wedges
- 6-8 slices any hearty whole grain bread, cut into 1 inch cubes
- 4 eggs
- 1 cup milk
- 2 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1 ½ teaspoon cinnamon, divided
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- Coat a 12” x 8” square pan with cooking spray.
- Lightly beat eggs in a large bowl. Add milk, maple syrup, ½ tsp. cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt; whisk to combine. Stir in the apple slices, then fold in the bread.
- Pour mixture into a prepared pan. Cover with foil. Refrigerate 6-8 hours or overnight.
- Before baking, let the French toast stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.
- Mix together remaining tsp. of cinnamon and sugar. Sprinkle on top of French toast.
- Bake uncovered at 400ºF for 30 minutes or until set and browned on top.
You can get all the sweetness you need for a perfect homemade marshmallow with maple syrup! The ingredient that gives marshmallows their distinctive “bounce” is gelatin. Gelatin is made from animal collagen, a protein that makes up an animal’s connective tissues, such as skin, tendons, ligaments, and bones. It’s a great ingredient that demonstrates the “nose-to-tail” use of an animal: it is made using parts of the cow that may have otherwise been wasted.
- 8” x 8” inch pan
- unbleached parchment paper
- stand mixer or hand mixer
- mixing bowl
- candy thermometer
- ½ cup water
- 3 tablespoon grass-fed gelatin
- 1 cup maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon organic vanilla extract (optional)
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ cup arrowroot powder
- Grease your cake pan, and dust with 2 tablespoons arrowroot powder or line with unbleached parchment paper in both directions. Leave some length to use as handles when removing your finished marshmallows.
- In your mixer bowl, add the gelatin with ½ cup of water.
- While the gelatin is softening, combine the maple syrup, vanilla, and salt in a saucepan. Turn the burner to a medium high heat, bringing the mixture to a boil. Place a candy thermometer in the sauce pan and continue to boil the mixture until it reaches 235°F (the soft ball stage). Immediately remove the saucepan from the heat.
- Turn your standing mixer to low/med. Slowly pour the maple mixture into the bowl combining it with the softened gelatin. Turn the mixer to high and continue beating the mixtures until it becomes thick like marshmallow creme (about 6-8 min).
- Turn off the mixer and transfer the marshmallow creme to the prepared pan. Smooth the top and sprinkle on the remaining 2 tablespoons of arrowroot powder. Pat to smooth again.
- If you would prefer not to use the arrowroot, lightly grease your hands with oil and pat smooth. This will keep it from sticking to your fingers. Alternatively you can press it down with parchment paper, leaving it there till the marshmallows are completely set.
- When set, remove the marshmallows by lifting from the parchment paper flaps.
- Cut to desired size and freeze for long-term storage.
Maple Balsamic Dressing
Yield: 1 quart
- ⅓ cup balsamic vinegar
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon Dijon Mustard
- 1 teaspoon Tamari (dark soy sauce would be fine, though the dressing would no longer be gluten free)
- ⅛ teaspoon garlic powder
- ⅛ teaspoon onion powder
- ¼ teaspoon ginger powder
- 2 cups canola oil (sunflower or grapeseed oil would also be fine)
- Combine all ingredients except the oil into a blender and blitz on high speed. Slowly add the oil in a steady stream until fully incorporated and emulsified. Season with additional salt as needed.
Note: We use all dried spices in this recipe to give the vinaigrette a longer shelf life in the refrigerator. Adding the ingredients fresh (minced shallot, garlic and ginger) would brighten the flavor, but you’d need to use the vinaigrette within seven days of preparing it. By using dried spices, the dressing can be kept in your refrigerator for at least three months.