I’m running a guesthouse (for adopting families) and I like to cook. This translates into pancakes and bacon a lot of mornings, which means I bring out the big guns: my jar of homemade syrup. It doesn’t take too many bites of syrup-laden pancake before someone finally asks, “so you really make your own maple syrup?”
No, I don’t have an grove of maple trees on tap for just such an occasion, but I do make my own syrup.
Ooooh… how fancy? Not really. I started doing it when I spent a summer cooking breakfast at a bed-and-breakfast in Maine. Syrup is expensive, well, at least the good stuff is, and the owners didn’t want to use the fake alternatives. So they turned to their friendly bottle of maple flavoring — in this case, one called Mapleine.
When I realized how easy it was to make this stuff myself, I couldn’t resist. I hopped on over to the store and picked up a few bottles of sweet stuff (a.k.a. Mapleine) for myself. But pure maple syrup is so delicious, you protest. Yes, it is, but unless you’re willing to take a third mortgage out on your house, you can’t really afford to stock it on a regular basis… at least not at the rate my kids use the stuff.
And let’s be honest, anything other then what comes out of those trees is, well, for lack of a better word: FAKE. It’s filled with high-fructose corn syrup (which I don’t really understand, except that my Facebook friends all swear it is from the devil) and what not.
Anyway, so my theory is this: if it’s going to be fake, at least make it homemade-fake!
If we’re going to give our kids pancakes and tell them to cover it with sugar water, at least we can say we made that sugar water with our own hands (mostly)! So without further ado, here is the recipe for your very own homemade-fake maple syrup.
- Go to the store and buy a bottle of maple flavoring. I like the Mapleine brand, because it’s cheap and available at WalMart, but you can pick whichever one is in your local store.
- Go back home and bring 1 cup of water plus 2 cups of plain old white sugar to boil in a small saucepan. Use a whisk to stir it up a bit.
- Just as it comes to a boil, add a little of the maple flavoring. The instructions on the Mapleine bottle say to add 1/2 teaspoon but I honestly never want to dirty a teaspoon so I just eyeball it. You can use more for an ultra-maple flavor syrup, or less if you prefer that sugar-water flavor. 😉
- Use that whisk again to stir, and let it boil for about a minute.
- Turn off the heat and you’re done. Pour into a cute container with a spout and make some pancakes so you can enjoy it!
I store my syrup in the fridge, mostly because it stays fresher longer in the hot, humid climate of Nicaragua. But when I lived in the US, in a climate-controlled house (oh, that was awesome!!), I stored it in an air-tight container on the counter. No worries. 🙂
Note: this syrup might take a bit of getting used to if you have been slopping that really-fake stuff on your pancakes for years. It’s thinner and has less of a fake-butter taste. At this point, I’ve been making it for 90% of my kids’ lives so they think this *is* the real stuff. Try it and see what your family thinks.