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How To Make Maple Candy

Mar 5, 2024 | DIY Maple Syrup

 

Making maple syrup was the hard part. Here’s how to turn your homemade maple syrup into maple candy!

 
Search the internet for how to make maple creamcandy and sugar and you will get plenty of hits. But many of these recipes call for starting with a light grade of syrup. If your hobby maple syrup operation is anything like ours, you mix the sap of your red or silver maples with your sugar maple sap. When doing this, you aren’t ever going to make a light syrup. That’s because the sap of these other maple trees doesn’t contain as much sugar as the sap of the sugar maple. It therefore needs to be cooked for longer to reach the density of syrup.  More cooking means more caramelization which means darker syrup.
 
Does that mean that you can’t take your dark, homemade syrup and turn it into maple candy? We set out to find the answer to that question, and it is a resounding NO! You can totally make candy, (and cream and sugar) from your homemade syrup, no matter what it looks like!
 
In fact, we created all three of these maple specialties in under two hours using the very darkest gallon of syrup we made this year. (Which is saying something.) And it all turned out wonderful. Here’s how!

From left to right, homemade maple syrup, maple cream, maple candy and maple sugar.

Homemade maple cream, candy and sugar. Incredibly easy. Incredibly tasty. And will impress your friends and family!

Calibrate Your Thermometer

As you already know, maple syrup boils at 7°F above the boiling point of water. Generally speaking, this means 219°F. But, because the boiling point of water varies with elevation and barometric pressure, you first have to calibrate your thermometer. If your thermometer reads 212°F in a pot of boiling water, great! For the rest of us, there is the power of math.
Incidentally, if you have the kind of maple syrup finishing thermometer that we carry, you don’t have to think about any of this. The face of the thermometer has calibration instructions and is marked at the boiling points of syrup, cream, candy, and sugar already.

Gather Your Supplies

To start making maple candy, we simply left our last batch of finished syrup on the stove. (For more information about how to know when your maple syrup is “finished”, check out our blog post on the topic!) You can take any finished syrup and put it into a large stock pot to get started. Then we gathered the rest of what we would need: vegetable oil, an empty bowl, a wooden spoon, parchment paper, and a bread tin.
 

In addition to maple syrup and a deep pot (not pictured), to make maple cream, candy, and sugar in one go, you need a candy thermometer (or maple syrup finishing thermometer), a shallow pan, parchment paper, vegetable oil, a bowl of ice, an empty bowl or two, and a wooden spoon. If attempting to make all three in swift succession, you will need a helper, a standing mixer, or more than two arms.

Heat to 246°F, No Stirring!

The first step is to heat your syrup back to boiling on medium heat. Once boiling, we watched, without stirring, while the temperature approached 246 °F or 34 °F above the boiling point of water.

Sometimes, the syrup bubbled up and almost went over the side of the pot. To battle the dreaded boilover, we smeared a little vegetable oil on the back of a wooden spoon and “pet” the bubbles with it to calm them down. Even though the process of obtaining the right temperature took 40 minutes, we watched it closely the whole time. The last 5°F only took 5 minutes, so make sure you’re close by for those last few degrees! Hell hath no fury like burned maple on an appliance.

Maple Syrup Boiling

Prepare Your Candy Mold

We used a bread tin as our candy mold. It makes a large rectangle of candy you can then cut into bite-size pieces. We prepared the bread tin by lightly oiling a piece of parchment paper and using it to line a 10″ metal bread pan. Getting the corners just right was probably the trickiest thing about making the candy. (For fancy, shaped candies, you can purchase a candy mold.)

Cool Slightly and Stir

When the batch reached 246 degrees, we poured the candy mixture into a small bowl and let it cool for 5 minutes. We then stirred it with a wooden spoon until it started looking lighter and thicker. This took another 5 minutes. We then poured it into the lined bread pan, did our best to make it flow evenly throughout, and set it on the counter to cool completely. This took at least an hour.

When cooled to room temperature, we lifted the candy from the bread pan with the parchment paper, set it on a cutting board, and cut it into cubes. From about a third of a gallon of syrup, we made about 1 lb. 3 oz. of maple candy.

Other Ways to Prepare Maple

We’re amazed at how easy it was to make maple candy. When we undertook this process ourselves, we set out to make maple cream, candy, and sugar all at the same time. We successfully completed all three ways of preparing maple in under two hours. For more detailed instructions on how to make maple cream and maple sugar, check out our blog posts on the topic. For a quick guide, check out our infographic below. It has all the details you need to make maple cream, maple candy, and maple sugar.
 

Maple Cream Maple Candy Maple Sugar

Quick Start Directions for Maple Candy:

  • boil syrup to 246 °F (or boiling point of water plus 34)
  • do not stir
  • cool for 5 minutes
  • stir until lighter and thicker (5 minutes)
  • pour into shallow pan lined with lightly oiled parchment paper
  • cool to room temperature before cutting into cubes
  • store sealed at room temperature

Happy Sugaring from our family to yours!

Family making maple syrup

FOR MORE INFORMATION ON MAKING YOUR OWN, HOMEMADE MAPLE SYRUP CHECK OUT OUR OTHER HELPFUL HOW-TO BLOGS:

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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