Making maple syrup was the hard part. Here’s how to turn your homemade maple syrup into maple sugar!
Homemade maple cream, candy and sugar. Incredibly easy. Incredibly tasty. And will impress your friends and family!
Calibrate Your Thermometer
Gather Your Supplies
To start making maple sugar, 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: an empty bowl, a wooden spoon, and a sifter. We found a food processor to be helpful, but it isn’t necessary.
Heat to 257°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 257 °F or 45 °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 over 40 minutes, we watched it closely the whole time. The temperature changes quickly as you near 257 °F so make sure you’re close by for those last few degrees! Hell hath no fury like burned maple on an appliance.
Stir, Stir, Stir!
When the batch reached temperature, we pulled the pot from the heat and immediately began to stir vigorously with a wooden spoon. We alternated stirring hands to alleviate the fatigue. After about 5 minutes, the character of what we were stirring began to change, from pancake batter to cookie dough, to something that was even harder to stir quickly (cookie dough with too much flour?). Finally, the mixture began to crystalize into sugar. It was very exiting!
We continued stirring for another 15 minutes or so, squishing any balls that formed against the side of the pot with the back of the spoon, as the batch gradually became beautiful, light, fine maple sugar!
Sifting and the Food Processor
By this time, the sugar was cool enough to handle, so we sifted it and set aside the lumps to be processed in the food processer and resifted (or eaten as “maple nibs” – a thing we just invented, right there). With about a third of a gallon of maple syrup, we made 1 lb. 10 oz. of maple sugar.
Other Ways to Prepare Maple
Quick Start Directions for Maple Sugar:
- boil syrup to 257-262 degrees Fahrenheit (or boiling point of water plus 45-50)
- do not stir
- take off the heat and stir vigorously until crystals form (20 minutes)
- sift and grind maple nibs in food processor if desired
- store sealed at room temperature
Happy Sugaring from our family to yours!
FOR MORE INFORMATION ON MAKING YOUR OWN, HOMEMADE MAPLE SYRUP CHECK OUT OUR OTHER HELPFUL HOW-TO BLOGS: