Maple butter has nothing to do with butter!
But what is it then?
Maple butter, often called maple cream, consists only of maple syrup.
This is heated, cooled and stirred until the clear, thick syrup becomes cloudy and spreadable.
This all sounds quite simple, and actually it is, since it is a purely thermal and mechanical process.
But the devil is in the details, as the saying goes!
The difficulty lies in reaching the right temperature, cooling to the right temperature at the right rate, and stirring properly.
Well, those are some passages that have to be right.
I have never made maple butter myself. I love the store-bought one, though. And so, I set out to try it myself.
Also, because it is not so easy to find maple butter in our area.
Of course, it is not originally spiced.
You can use maple butter to sweeten it, a bit like honey. Or you can use it as a spread.
In Canada, maple butter, like maple syrup, is used not only for sweet dishes but also for savory ones. For example, for a marinade or glaze for fish and chicken. If you cook the maple syrup even hotter and longer, you will get maple sugar.
So, here are the instructions:
- Maple syrup
- spices of your choice.
- A pan
- A large bowl of cold water with lots of ice cubes in it (you’ll need to fit the mixing bowl in it)
- A stirring spoon, a kitchen robot, or a STRONG hand mixer
- A thermometer that can withstand over 120 °C
Heat the maple syrup in the pan to 112 °C (measure with the thermometer) This may take a while. The syrup will only get about 95°C hot at first, then it will start to thicken. And only after some time it becomes even hotter. The thicker it gets, the hotter it gets.
Then pour the syrup in the mixing bowl an put it in the bowl with the ice water and cool it down to 20°C.
Then stir, stir, stir
This takes time – you have to calculate about 30 minutes.
With a hand mixer or a kitchen robot, it also works, but the equipment must be strong, otherwise, the viscous mass gives them trouble!