Monday, March 16, 2009

Maple syrup

I have finally found a good way to boil down my sap into syrup. I first tried an electric frying pan since that is what I had. It did the job, but it was very slow and made an extra light colored syrup that tasted and looked like butterscotch. It was delicious, but the time involved prohibited it from my chosen method. The second batch was made with a large kettle on a hot plate outside on my patio. The sap never got to a good boil and was taking way too much time. That batch was finished off on the stove with all the windows in the house open to prevent extreme condensation on the windows and walls. My husband actually came up with the last and, for me, final way to boil down the sap. He suggested a deep fryer run on propane that is also used to deep fry turkeys. He has been wanting one for quite some time, so we purchased one. We both win with this solution. He gets his deep fryer and I get an easy way to boil down my sap.

Here is a picture of my syrup made with the deep fryer. It is very rich and flavorful! The tree at my house is giving me about 5-6 gallons of sap a day while the tree at my daughter's house is giving me another 3-4. The process of boiling down the sap is simple but time consuming. My neighbors must think I am pretty strange sitting out in the garage for hours at a time reading a book. Oh well, I don't care since I am the one enjoying the wonderful taste of spring in a jar.

More to come soon as spring is finally near so please come back and join me in My Little Corner of the World. Kim


Angelady said...

Great info once again... I have to admit, the sound of the butterscotch syrup has me more than the regular maple syrup! LOL! At the rate this is going, I wonder if you're going to need to sap your neighbors trees after all? I also was wondering if it hurts the tree in any way to take too much? And, what do you do when you're done tapping the tree? I'm assuming you have to plug it with something, right?


Kim said...

HeeHee, I already approached 2 of my neighbors and if the temps are right, will tap their trees in a couple days. I only have 1 or 2 weeks left for the sap to flow so may wait until next year.

It doesn't hurt the tree but you first have to make sure the tree is of proper age. It must be at least 10" in diameter in order to tap. Eventually the sap will not flow so much and the tree will scar over the spot on its plugs needed.

Thanks Angela for all the great questions and comments. Kim

Margot said...

"Spring in a jar" - you have such a nice way with words. I am so impressed with your ingenuity. I have a farm with 100 year old sugar maple trees but I can't bear to drill a hole into them. If I ever can take that first step, then I will follow your great tips.

Kim said...

Margot I would love to have a farm and the 100 year old maple trees. Syrup making has been going on for hundreds of years and honestly will not harm your trees. As long as the tree is at least 10" in diameter, taking sap from it will not cause damage. If you are worried, don't place more than 2 taps per tree...for sure you will cause no harm. Hope you give it a try next year, it is a wonderful, fun project. Kim