Pure Maple Syrup and Our Favorite Saturday Morning Pancakes

Right at this very moment, if you were to drive through any small town in rural New Hampshire, you would notice buckets hanging from trees, or a network of pale blue tubing twisting through someone’s yard. New England has a long, proud history of maple sugaring and my family has eagerly joined the tradition!

Maple Collage copyOur backyard maple sugaring story begins in March of 2012 after my brother discovered a cigar box full of dusty antique spiles (spouts) at my family’s New Hampshire cottage. He began tapping maple trees at his home in upstate New York and shared some of the spiles – and his Sugar Maple identification tips – with us. A few days later, we ventured back home to New Hampshire and tapped 6 Oak trees and 2 Sugar Maples.

Oops! Everyone makes mistakes, and we discovered ours when we had two overflowing buckets of sap later that day, and 6 empty ones! I pulled a small piece of bark off of 1 of the Sugar Maple trees and carried it with me as I walked throughout the yard, using it as a guide to find the correct trees.

Tapping the TreeThis year, we didn’t make any mistakes. The trees are tapped. The sap is running. The syrup is cooking. And the air smells sweet!

Sap runningThe maple syrup is ready at 219 degrees Fahrenheit. I pour it into sterile, hot jars and wait for the “ping” that all canners love to hear. It takes 40 gallons of well-filtered sap (we use coffee filters) and many hours of evaporation to make just 1 gallon of maple syrup. Colin and I collect the sap twice a day and store it outside in the snow when it is not being cooked.

February 15 274Colin can’t help but taste a bit of sap from every tree we’ve tapped. It’s icy cold and watery, with just a hint of something sweet.

tasting sapNevertheless, it is obviously more delicious as Grade A, Medium Amber syrup; especially when drizzled over homemade, Saturday morning pancakes.

Fluffy Mickey Mouse Pancakes (original recipe)

  • 3/4 cup whole milk
  • 2 TBSP white vinegar
  • 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 TBSP sugar
  • 1 TSP aluminum-free baking powder
  • 1/2 TSP baking soda
  • 1/2 TSP kosher salt
  • 1 fresh egg
  • 2 TBSP melted butter
  • cooking spray

March 1 1011. Mix the milk and the vinegar together. Allow the milk to sour for several minutes.

2. Whisk the rest of the ingredients into the soured milk  and stir until the batter is smooth.

3. Cook 1/4 cup of batter at a time on a sprayed, heated griddle or frying pan until golden.

March 1 139Last Christmas, I gave family and friends homemade Vanilla Extract and Apple Scrap Jelly. I am hoping to have plenty of New Hampshire Maple Syrup to give away this year!

11 thoughts on “Pure Maple Syrup and Our Favorite Saturday Morning Pancakes

  1. What a lovely family story…I love how your maple syrup is a family effort from beginning to the yummy end…thank you for sharing!

  2. I was just about to pin our experience with maple sugaring when I saw your pin. How cool! We just went to a demonstration, but it was fun and informative. I’m going to link your post to mine, if you don’t mind.

  3. Pingback: New Experience #8: Maple Sugaring | 52 Brand New

  4. Pingback: DIY: Pure Maple Candy | Fireflies and Mud Pies

  5. That looks great and like a lot of fun! How long did you have to boil the sap until it reached the right temperature?

    • You know, I’ve never actually timed it. It takes many, many gallons so it feels like it is boiling for 2 days 🙂 I measure the temperature first and then use a hydrometer to double check that it’s not too watery.

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