Maple Cream

Hi, I’m maple cream. A.K.A. maple butter. A.K.A. spreadable maple sugar crack. A.K.A. the cause of at least one of Carey’s high school cavities.

Oh hello, maple cream. I’ve missed you!

For those of you that are unfamiliar with this substance, maple cream is simply maple syrup that is heated, cooled, then stirred until the consistency changes from a syrup to a thick cream. It’s awesome on toast, in frosting, off your fingers . . . in short: it rules. Now that we’re all on the same page, let’s get down to business!

Oh but first, a little back story. In my hometown of Jefferson, NY, we were lucky enough to have a great sap house called Buck Hill Farm. In addition to turning out an endless supply of amazing maple products, they also served breakfast on Saturdays and Sundays. This is where yours truly spent her weekends waiting tables throughout high school.

To this day, my parents still eat there every weekend. When I am lucky enough to make it to a BHF breakfast, I order the most annoying meal ever — a tiny bit of almost everything, because it’s all so delicious! I still have to resist the urge to ask for sides of maple syrup whenever I go out to breakfast elsewhere. (For some reason, people look at you like you’re crazy when you pour maple syrup all over everything outside of a sap house.)

Somehow, despite my maple addiction, I had all but forgotten about maple cream. But then, I happened upon Bite My Cake’s creamed honey post. Within moments, I was obsessing over finding recipes for its maple counterpart. I was almost immediately confused, however, as some sites noted that the syrup should be heated to 235°, cooled to 40°, then brought back up to room temperature before stirring, while others simply called for it to be heated to 235°, then cooled to 125° and stirred. Lucky for me, all I had to do was ask Sharon (owner/operator of BHF) which method she recommended, and she directed me toward the former. I’m not sure what sort of difference the extra cooling makes in the final product, and I’m sure both are rather similar. But I can say with certainty that the former method yields a delicious product. Feel free to try either, depending on how much effort you’d like to put into the process. (And if anyone has any insight into the reasons for the different methods, I would love to hear it!)

Maple Cream

yield: Volume-wise, you should end up with just a little less cream than the amount of syrup you began with. (I used a quart of syrup and wound up with around 3 1/2 cups of cream.)

you will need:

  • 100% pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 tsp of cream (to keep the syrup from boiling over — you can substitute oil as well if you’d like to keep it dairy-free)
  • candy thermometer
  • heavy saucepan with high sides
  • ice bath

Tip from Sharon: Water boils at different temperatures depending on elevation and other atmospheric factors (at sea level the BP is around 212°, but will be lower at higher elevations). Since even a few degrees can make a difference when working with sugar, it is a good idea to heat a few cups of water in your saucepan before you begin working with the syrup and note the temperature at which it boils. If this is around 208–210°, you will only want to heat the syrup to around 232–233°, rather than 235.

Prepare an ice bath, along with the final bowl you will be mixing everything in (i.e., the stainless steel bowl of your stand mixer).

Combine syrup and cream/oil in the heavy saucepan. Without stirring, bring to a boil over medium heat. Clip the thermometer to the side of the pan so it is submerged in the syrup but not touching the bottom of the pan. (Or use two thermometers, if you’re as crazy paranoid about thermometer accuracy and over-cooking sugar as I am.)

Without stirring, heat mixture to somewhere between 232–235°, depending on your water BP test. Once the syrup reaches the appropriate temperature, immediately remove it from the heat and pour it into the other bowl, then place it in the ice bath.

Move the ice bath to a cold location (fridge, porch, etc.). Clip a thermometer to the side of the new bowl and let cool until the mixture reaches around 40°. (I was a little impatient and didn’t let it cool past about 50°, and it turned out fine.)

Remove the bowl from the ice bath and allow it to warm back up to room temperature. Once it has reached room temperature, mix the syrup on the lowest setting of your stand mixture using the paddle attachment. (Alternatively, you can mix it using a spoon, it will just take some persistence and elbow grease!)

Mix for around 25–30 minutes, or until the syrup thickens and turns into a beautiful creamy mixture. You’ll know it’s done once it tastes more sugary than syrup-y (if that makes any sense). (If that doesn’t make sense, continue stirring it around 7–10 minutes after it begins to take on a creamy consistency.) When you’ve achieved the taste and consistency you’re looking for, pour the cream into jars. Store in the fridge for up to 6 months. Enjoy it on practically everything!

(Note: It is natural for the cream to harden a bit in the fridge, as well as for some syrup to rise to the top. Just give it a good hearty stir to return it to its original consistency.)

Comments

  1. says

    My husbands Grandfather makes a Maple Cream that he gives us every year during sugaring at our family Sugar House and at Christmas. My kids look forward to it every year… as do we! Eat it by the spoonful, spread it on toast, I even glaze my meats with it on an occasion.

    It is Maple Crack!

    • says

      What a great family tradition! And the idea of using it to glaze meats has me drooling. I’m definitely going to try that this week!

  2. says

    Is it bad that I want to make this and add bourbon? Do you think that would be possible? Maybe to process as your directions say, and add some bourbon once it’s become “creamed”? I *kind of* love maple and bourbon/whisky together. A lot. I want to make this ASAP! :)

    • says

      If by “bad” you mean “genius,” then yes. :D The cream is a bit intense on its own, and I think bourbon would do a great job of cutting the sweetness. And not only that, but the alcohol would aid in preserving the cream. Great idea, Sierra!

    • says

      Thank you, Cat! I am really loving the idea of cutting the sweetness with a little bourbon. I was also thinking that bacon would be an excellent compliment to it, but I’m trying to figure out how to do that in a semi-practical way (as opposed just making a bacon and maple cream sandwich). :)

      • Elizabeth says

        YES to bacon. When I make bacon, I pour off the drippings into a little glass bowl and keep it in the fridge cooking. (I have been known to add some to melted butter for tossing in with popcorn.) I wonder if you could replace the cream/oil in the maple cream with bacon fat.

        • says

          I like the way you think, Elizabeth! I’d imagine that bacon fat would work just as well as oil/cream, since it seems its primary function in this recipe is inhibiting crystallization. (And I love using a mixture of bacon fat and olive oil for stovetop popcorn!)

    • says

      Hi Amy! I was told that it should be cooled to 40 degrees (not 140), then brought back up to room temperature. (I only cooled it down to 50 because I’m impatient, and it came out fine. )

  3. Tracey C. says

    I’m not a great chef, but I DO love food! This sounds amazing! I’ve never had maple cream, but I love love love maple flavored or infused anything..so I’m sure I’d be a slave to the cream. I’m wondering what you would suggest as a way to incorporate it into a french toast and maybe bacon dish, with perhaps some type of spreadable or light cheese? I could stir it all into a bowl together, but was hoping for something a little more inspired and civilized! Thank you!

    • says

      I actually started drooling a little thinking about all of those ingredients in one dish! So I think a really great way to incorporate all of those things together would be to make a stuffed french toast. You could mix the maple cream, cheese (I think marscarpone would be an excellent choice), and bacon together for the filling, and I bet it would be amazing! Also, you might be able to do an overnight french toast casserole of sorts by spreading a mixture of the cheese and cream on each layer of bread and sprinkling it with some bacon. (I love the idea of the french toast casserole, because you can just pop the whole in the oven in the morning, and the time spent overnight in the fridge really lets the bread soak up all the yummy goodness.)

  4. Kristina says

    Thanks for this dangerous recipe. My best friend’s boyfriend is from outside if Montreal, and he’s a maple syrup addict. I think I know what I’ll make/get them for Christmas!

  5. says

    Oh dear, this is dangerously awesome. I think I could have maple syrup with absolutely anything…. this just broadens the possibilities!

    I’ve just come accross your blog, and I’m rapidly getting addicted! Congratulations!

    • says

      Thank you, Lara! :)

      This stuff is seriously dangerous, especially since it’s somewhere in between butter and frosting. It can literally go on anything!

  6. Shannon says

    I have never had this before and am giddy to try it!! Since I am not familiar with the taste or consistency, what are your thoughts on using it as an icing for cinnamon rolls or homemade donuts? My kids are big “dippers” and this sounds like an amazing dip for anything breakfast oriented….including my favorite bacon!

    • says

      Hi Shannon! Yes, this is definitely a perfect consistency for dipping (if it’s at room temperature — it tends to get pretty solid at fridge temp). It would definitely make a great frosting too, although it might be a bit overwhelming in a large dose. With something like cakes or cupcakes, cutting it with a little bit of butter would help tone it down. (And bacon dipped in maple cream would be nothing short of amazing!)

  7. Beth says

    wow.. I try and make all home canned things for Christmas and I want to put this on next years list of things… sounds way yummy..

  8. Kristen Williams says

    Hi there!

    I just came upon your blog based on a Google search. First of all I love it! I actually was searching because I received Maple Cream as a gift for Christmas. I LOVE maple flavor but find that the cream is too sweet for me. Do you have any recommendations of how to use the maple cream IN recipes (instead of ON things)?

    Would love ideas if you have any!! Thanks – Kristen

    • says

      Hi Kristen! I definitely know what you mean — it can be a little overpowering as is. :) It’s super delicious mixed into frostings or used as a filling of sorts (think cinnamon rolls or in between layers of a cake, or swirled right into a cake batter).

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