Maple syrup for more than pancakes

Published 9:44 am Thursday, October 4, 2018

By Stephanie Williams Dean

Bless Your Spoon

Following a sweet and salty trend, pure maple syrup now transcends breakfast and dessert, enriching savory fall menus with a light, sweet essence derived from nature. Noting the syrup’s long heritage, the distilled essence of a tree anchors comfort from southern dishes of yesterday to modern food trends of today. Light and sweet, without weighing down food, pure maple syrup adds a wild delicacy to any savory main dish. The syrup’s earthy goodness now extends as a main ingredient in everything from vinaigrettes, glazes, and sauces to savory meats, beans, and vegetables.




1 pork tenderloin (2-3 lbs.)

3 Tbsp. olive oil


¼ cup cornstarch

½ tsp. kosher salt

½ tsp. freshly ground black


Pinch of ground cinnamon

Pinch of ground cloves

Pinch of cayenne pepper

In a bowl, combine cornstarch, salt, pepper, cinnamon, cloves, and cayenne. Dry tenderloin with paper towels. Roll in rub mixture until meat is lightly coated with no clumps. Shake off any excess.  In a cast iron skillet, heat oil. If necessary, cut meat into two pieces. Brown meat on all sides. Transfer to a 250-degree oven, and cook 75 minutes. Remove from oven.


1 cup pure maple syrup

4 Tbsp. bourbon

2 Tbsp. chicken broth

¼ cup apple cider vinegar

1 Tbsp. olive oil

1 thinly sliced yellow onion

2 cored, sliced Anjou pears or Granny Smith apples

In a cast iron skillet, combine maple syrup, bourbon, broth, and vinegar. Over medium heat, simmer 15 minutes until thickened. Add olive oil, onion, and saute 15 minutes until caramelized. In a roasting pan, spread small amount of glaze over bottom of pan. Place the pork in the middle, surround with remainder of sauce, pears or apple slices, and brush the pork with several layers of glaze. In a 500-degree oven, roast the pork for 7-10 minutes until crispy. Serve with sauce.


1 boneless, honey glazed, cooked, spiral cut ham (3-4 lbs.)


1 tsp. kosher salt

1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

1 tsp. dried mustard

1 tsp. whole cloves

Sprigs of fresh thyme


1 Tbsp. olive oil

4 minced cloves garlic

¾ cup pure maple syrup

1 cup Dijon mustard

2 Tbsp. chicken broth

¼ cup brown sugar

½ cup apple cider vinegar

In a bowl, add salt, pepper, mustard, cloves, and thyme. Rub over cooked honey ham.For the glaze, in a cast iron skillet, heat oil and saute garlic until clear. Add maple syrup, mustard, broth, brown sugar, vinegar, and bring to a boil. Lower heat to medium and simmer 15 minutes until thickened. In a roasting pan, pour a little sauce in bottom of roasting pan. Place ham in center, and pour mixture over ham. Heat in 450-degree oven for 30 minutes, basting at 15 minutes, until outside is crispy.


2 large, beaten egg yolks

½ cup golden brown sugar

1 ½ Tbsp. softened, salted butter

¼ cup pure maple syrup

¼ cup apple juice

1 Tbsp. whipping cream

2 tsp. all-purpose flour

1 tsp. grated lemon peel

6 pitted, chopped dates

½ cup toasted, chopped almonds

4 large Golden Delicious apples

2 Tbsp. apple juice

2 Tbsp. pure maple syrup

2 Tbsp. melted, salted butter

Whipped cream

In a mixer, beat eggs. Add sugar, butter, syrup, juice, cream, and mix well. Add flour and mix well. Fold in peel, dates, and almonds. Mix well. Using melon baller, scoop out stem and entire core of apple, leaving bottom intact. Peel a 1 inch strip of peel away from top of apple. Stuff apples with mixture. In a glass baking dish, pour apple juice, syrup, and butter. Arrange apples in dish. Brush sides of apple with juice and melted butter. In a 350-degree oven, bake 45 minutes or until apple is soft, brushing occasionally with juices. Serve with whipped cream.


4 ears of fresh corn

1 stick softened, salted butter

2 Tbsp. pure maple syrup

1 ¼ tsp. ground cinnamon

Pinch of sea salt

2 tsp. chopped fresh basil

Place corn husks directly on the oven rack and roast in a 350-degree oven for 30 minutes or until corn is soft. Peel down the husks and use as a handle when eating.

In a mixer, whip butter, syrup, cinnamon, and salt. Refrigerate. Spread on corn. Sprinkle with chopped basil.


1/2 cup pure maple syrup

2 Tbsp. soy sauce

2 Tbsp. Srirachi

2 lbs. sliced bacon

In a bowl, whisk maple syrup, soy, and sriracha. Coat bacon strips in mixture. On a covered baking dish, bake in a 400-degree oven for 15 minutes until cooked but not crisp. Brush sauce on both sides of bacon and return to oven for 15 more minutes or until crisp.  Perfect for grilled cheese or BLT’s.


¼ cup olive oil

2 lbs. trimmed, halved Brussel sprouts

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 Tbsp. olive oil

4 oz. pancetta, diced ½ inch

¼ cup pure maple syrup

2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar

2 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley

In a heavy skillet, heat oil and cook Brussel sprouts in single layer over medium heat for 8 minutes or until tender. Salt and pepper. Transfer to a bowl. In the same skillet, heat olive oil and cook pancetta until crisp. Lay on paper towel to drain. In the same skillet, add syrup, vinegar, and bring to a boil for 10 minutes. Add Brussel sprouts. Stir in pancetta. Toss with parsley.


Loaf of Italian or French bread

1 pt. drained, fresh or canned peaches

1-8z. pkg. cream cheese

12 eggs

2 cups half and half

1 Tbsp. vanilla extract

¼ cup pure maple syrup

1 cup sugar

2 tsp. cornstarch

1 cup water

1 cup drained, fresh or canned peaches

½ tsp. maple extract

1 tsp. lemon juice

1 pint whipped cream

Cut loaf of bread in 2 inch cubes. Spread half the bread in a butter greased 9 x 13 pan. Put drained peaches on top of bread. Cover with remaining bread. In a mixer, beat cream cheese until smooth. Add eggs, half and half, vanilla, and syrup. Spread mixture entirely over bread. Cover with foil, and refrigerate overnight. Bake in a 350-degree oven for 1 hour. Uncover, and bake 15 additional minutes or until browned. For the sauce, in a deep skillet, add sugar, cornstarch, water, peaches, extract, and lemon juice, and cook until slightly thickened. Top each serving of French toast with sauce and dollop of whipped cream.


2 beaten eggs

1 cup maple or brown sugar

2 Tbsp. softened butter

2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour

Pinch of salt

1 cup maple syrup

1 ½ cups chopped pecans

9 in. unbaked pie shell

Whipped cream

In a mixer, beat eggs. Add sugar and butter. Add flour, salt, and syrup, and mix well. Fold in pecans and mix well. Pour into unbaked pie shell. In a 400-degree oven, bake 5 minutes. Reduce heat to 375-degrees and bake 35 minutes or until mixture is set or firm. Top with whipped cream.


1 beaten, large egg yolk

¼ cup sugar

½ cup softened, salted butter

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour

1/8 tsp. salt

½ cup pure maple syrup

1/3 cup packed golden brown sugar

¼ cup whipping cream

3 Tbsp. butter

½ tsp. vanilla extract

1 ½ cup chopped pecans

In a mixer, beat egg.  Add sugar, butter, and mix well. Add flour and salt, and mix until clumps form. Press dough over bottom and ½ inch up sides of a 9x9x2 cake pan. In a 350-degree oven, bake 20 minutes or until done. Cool.

In a saucepan, combine syrup, sugar, whipping cream, and butter. Stir until butter melts, then bring to a boil for 30 seconds until mixture is smooth. Remove from heat. Stir in vanilla. Fold in nuts. Pour hot filling into crust. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 15 minutes and filling is bubbly. Cool. These bars are sticky so keep chilled to aid in slicing.


2 sticks softened, salted butter

1 cup pure maple syrup

1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice

3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon

½ tsp. ground allspice

1/3 cup toasted, chopped pecans

In a mixer, combine all ingredients. Serve warm over breakfast dishes or dessert. 



4 large, beaten eggs

2 cups sugar

2 sticks softened, salted butter

1 cup sour cream

2 cups all-purpose flour

½ cup milk

½ tsp. salt

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. ground ginger

1 tsp. ground cardamom

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

1 tsp. ground nutmeg

In a mixer, beat eggs. Add sugar, butter, sour cream, and mix well. Add flour, milk, and mix well. Mix in salt, soda, powder, and spices. In a 350-degree oven, bake in 3 greased and floured cake pans for 25 minutes or done. Cool.


2-10 oz. softened, cream cheese

10 Tbsp. softened, salted butter

5 cups powdered sugar

½ cup pure maple syrup

2 cups toasted, chopped walnuts

In a mixer, beat cream cheese and butter until light and flurry. Add powdered sugar and beat at low speed until well blended and smooth. Beat in maple syrup. Chill 30 minutes until ready to spread. Fold in walnuts or press walnuts halfway up sides of cake.


2 cups pure maple syrup

2 cups fresh fruit

In a sauce pan, heat maple syrup. Add fruit and simmer until fruit is softened. Remove from heat and let stand for 30 minutes. For every cup of syrup, use one cup of fruit.

Hint: When buying pure maple syrup, be sure to check the label as many contain large amounts of cane and little maple syrup. Maple syrup is classified according to a color range from light to dark amber and flavor range from delicate to more intense. Finer grades of maple are light in color and contain more flavor than the darker grades. I recommend you use Grade A-dark color and rich flavor for more robust flavor when cooking. Try integrating pure maple in your recipes and rely less on maple extract – the extract certainly give instant maple punch to any recipe so do keep some available in your pantry.