Flavour of the Month
by Bonnie Caldwell
Canada is responsible for 80% of the world's production of maple syrup and more than 90% of Canadian maple syrup comes from Quebec. PEI is now represented on the maple map with the formation of the PEI Maple Syrup Company now in its second year of operation.
Recently, I visited Doug McLure and Blair MacLean at the site of their new venture in Breadalbane. Doug and Blair are hoping this cold winter has produced lots of sap in their sugar maples. In a good winter, an average tree can yield 70 to 90 litres of sap. This winter's huge snowfall has slowed things down somewhat, but soon the sap will be flowing into the tanks. They are planning to expand their business in the next few years to include a gift shop and facilities for group tours.
Probably the most popular way to enjoy maple syrup is on hot fluffy pancakes. However, maple syrup is not just for pancakes and waffles, but can be used as an interesting flavour in marinades, vinaigrettes and baking. One of my standby marinades for salmon is to mix 1 tsp of Dijon mustard, 1 garlic clove crushed, 1 tbsp maple syrup, 1 tbsp lemon juice and freshly ground black pepper in a bowl. Pour over salmon fillets or steaks and leave for 20 to 30 minutes then grill or broil for 10 minutes per inch of thickness. Give it a try and your family will be impressed.
For a more traditional use, why not make some of these delicious maple oatmeal scones for breakfast:
Scones: 2 cups all-purpose flour 2 tbsp granulated sugar 1 cup rolled oats 1 tsp baking powder 1/2 tsp salt 1/2 tsp baking soda 1/2 cup unsalted butter or soft margarine 1/2 cup buttermilk (or pour 1/2 tbsp of white vinegar into 1/2 cup milk and wait till it curdles) 1/3 cup pure maple syrup 1 large egg 1 large egg, beaten with 1 tablespoon milk or water, for egg wash
Glaze: 2/3 cup icing sugar 1/3 cup maple syrup 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degree F. In a large bowl stir together flour, sugar, oats, baking powder, salt and baking soda. 2. Cut margarine or butter into flour mixture until it is in tiny bits. 3. In a small bowl mix together buttermilk, maple syrup and egg. Then add egg mixture to flour mixture. Mix until just blended. The dough may be sticky. 4. Pat dough out on floured surface to thickness of about 1 inch. Cut out into 2 or 3 inch rounds and place on baking sheet lined with parchment paper. 5. Brush tops of scones with egg wash and bake until tops are puffed and golden-about 15 to 20 minutes. 6. Once cooled combine glaze ingredients and drizzle on top of scones. Sprinkle uncooked oats on top. These freeze really well.