Sugaring season is just about over here in Ohio. We had a warm snap that ended it about a week earlier than last year. Although a short season, it was still successful. We ended up with over a gallon of golden goodness straight from our back yard! Next year we’re hoping to tap even more trees so we can, hopefully, get a few gallons of syrup, then we could give some away (perhaps a jar to a lucky reader). But with only one gallon this year, we’ll probably give some to my parents and we’ll keep the rest.
The hardest part of making maple syrup is the finishing. You have to heat it to a certain temperature; not below or it might spoil, not over or it will crystallize. Everywhere you read you get different information about the temperature or method for finishing your syrup properly. I read this article and used their method, which worked beautifully. I figured the experts at the Ohio State University would know what they were talking about!
After heating to the proper temperature, you’re supposed to strain your maple syrup through a felt filter, some use wool, some use synthetic. Since I’m more of an all-natural kind of person, I bought some organic wool felt from Syrendell at Etsy.com to make my own filter. I figured I could make my own much cheaper. Unfortunately I bought the felt a little too late and it didn’t get here in time, but I’ll have the filters sown up and ready to go for next year.
We ended up filtering ours through a few layers of cheesecloth. We filtered once before finishing the syrup, we poured the hot syrup that was almost finished through cheesecloth to get most of the sugar sand out. Then we finished the syrup and strained again, through some fresh layers of cheesecloth. This did a remarkably wonderful job of straining the syrup. It’s beautifully clear, with hardly any maple sand in it (I’ve read maple sand can make the syrup bitter during storage, which is why it’s recommended to strain it out).
I took some of our finished maple syrup outside yesterday morning to get a few shots, it’s so beautiful! I love these little Weck jars I got to store it in, they should be the perfect size for 2 meals. You can see the two different colors of syrup we got from our two batches. It’s so delicious, hard to believe we made it at home. One thing is for certain, not a drop of this will go to waste! When you take such a hands on approach to making your own food you really appreciate it because you know the effort that goes into it.
What do you recommend for our first meal to enjoy our homemade syrup on:
pancakes, french toast, fried mush, ______________?