Making your own maple syrup is easier than you may have thought and chances are that you already have most (if not all) of the ingredients in your pantry!
The best part of making your own maple syrup is that it can be made from start to finish in about 20 minutes. While it’s not traditional maple syrup (that takes hours!) it is a good go-to for when you want to avoid a trip to the store or are in a hurry for breakfast.
Most of the cooking time is just letting a pot simmer on the stove, meaning that you have hands free to cook up some fabulous pancakes or waffles for your family. I recommend my Fluffy Buttermilk Pancakes to go with this warm syrup, but you can use your favorite recipe as well.
Adding warm homemade pancake syrup over the top of your favorite waffles, or pancakes is such an incredible way to serve up your meal.
How is maple syrup made?
Traditionally, maple syrup is made by sticking a “tap” or spigot into a tree to allow the sap to pour into a bucket. Once the bucket is full, it’s boiled and cooked down into a thicker and sweeter mixture. Unfortunately, it takes about 40 gallons of sap to make 1 gallon of syrup. This is one reason why real maple syrup costs so much.
If your kids get curious about making maple syrup, Curious George has an episode about making maple syrup that’s really helpful at understanding the process. It’s kid friendly, educational, and very good at helping everyone to understand where food comes from. As a gardener, I fully support showing where food comes from and the process before getting it to the table.
Ingredients for homemade maple syrup
- Water: Water is the base of the syrup and will help us to dissolve everything together in the pot.
- Sugars: We need both white sugar and brown sugar. The molasses from the brown sugar helps to add depth and color while both sugars add sweetness to the syrup.
- Maple flavoring: To get a good maple flavor we want to use maple extract.
- Vanilla: Adding in some vanilla helps to round out the flavors and enhance the ones we have.
How to make homemade pancake syrup
- In a medium-sized pot on your stove, bring some water, white sugar, and brown sugar to a boil.
- Let it reduce for about 15 minutes until the mixture is slightly thickened.
- After it’s been reduced to a good syrup-like consistency, remove it from the heat and add in some maple flavoring and vanilla extract.
How to store homemade syrup
With how much homemade maple syrup is produced from this recipe, it is very likely that you may have some leftover after breakfast.
You can store it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. This gives you plenty of time to look for creative ways to use it up.
What can you put maple syrup on?
- Maple Bacon Popcorn
- Cook up some strips of bacon as per usual and then chop them into small pieces. Mix in a pan with a little maple syrup until thickened. Then toss together with cooked popcorn.
- Roasted Vegetables
- There are a wide variety of vegetables that taste absolutely amazing when combined with maple flavoring. Carrots, Brussels sprouts, and different varieties of squash are just a few ideas.
- Homemade granola, trail mix, or snack mix
- You can take your homemade snack mixes to a whole new level by giving them a flavorful boost thanks to your homemade maple syrup. Just combine it all well and bake or cook as your directions would normally have you do.
- If you don’t want to go through the added steps of baking or cooking down your maple syrup, you can simply pour it as is over the top of your favorite vanilla yogurts. This could be a great chance of pace from the honey or agave you may be used to using.
Homemade Pancake Syrup
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons maple flavoring
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Combine water, white and brown sugar.
- Bring to a boil and reduce about 15 minutes until slightly thickened.
- Off heat, stir in maple flavoring and vanilla extract.
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