STYLE

Four recipes to cook with maple syrup

03/25/2013 05:00 EDT | Updated 05/24/2013 05:12 EDT
LONDON, Ont. - Roasted Acorn Squash Soup

Roasted acorn squash develops rich caramelized flavours that go well with maple syrup.

2 acorn squash, halved and seeded

30 ml (2 tbsp) maple syrup

45 ml (3 tbsp) olive oil

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 small onion, chopped

1 large carrot, peeled and chopped

1 small Granny Smith apple, peeled and chopped

1 l (4 cups) chicken broth, plus 250 ml (1 cup) for thinning

1 ml (1/4 tsp) ground thyme

Pinch of nutmeg

Salt and freshly ground pepper

15 ml (1 tbsp) fresh lemon juice

Diced apple and fresh chives for garnish

Preheat oven to 200 C (400 F).

Brush cut side of squash with maple syrup and place cut-side down on a baking sheet lightly coated with 15 ml (1 tbsp) of the olive oil. Bake 45 minutes or until tender. Allow to cool, then scrape out the squash flesh and set aside.

In a 4-l (4-qt) saucepan, heat remaining 30 ml (2 tbsp) of olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic, onion, carrot and apple. Cook for 5 minutes, then reduce heat to low and cover. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes or until vegetables are soft.

Add the cooked squash, 1 l (4 cups) broth, thyme, and nutmeg. Simmer for 20 minutes. Allow to cool.

Once mixture has cooled, blend (in two batches) in food processor or blender until smooth. Reheat soup and season to taste with salt and freshly ground pepper. Stir in fresh lemon juice and add more broth if soup is too thick. Garnish with apple and chives.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: Federation of Quebec Maple Syrup Producers

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Maple Tiramisu

This traditional Italian dessert gets a uniquely Canadian twist with the addition of maple syrup.

125 ml (1/2 cup) hot espresso coffee

375 ml (1 1/2 cups) maple syrup

125 ml (1/2 cup) liqueur (such as Triple Sec or Amaretto)

125 ml (1/2 cup) raisins

125 ml (1/2 cup) dried cranberries

6 eggs, separated

2 475-g tubs of mascarpone cheese, at room temperature

2 ml (1/2 tsp) vanilla extract

12 ladyfinger cookies, broken in half

125 ml (1/2 cup) walnuts, grilled and chopped (optional)

60 ml (1/4 cup) cocoa powder

60 ml (1/4 cup) maple sugar (or maple flakes)

In a bowl, mix together the espresso and 125 ml (1/2 cup) of the maple syrup, then add the liqueur and dried fruit. Set aside.

In a large bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form.

In another large bowl, beat the mascarpone, egg yolks, vanilla and remaining maple syrup. Then, carefully fold into the egg whites using a spatula.

Place 6 cookies in the bottom of a 3-l (12-cup) glass dish, then pour half of the dried fruit and coffee mixture evenly over the top. Sprinkle half of the nuts and spread half the mascarpone filling on top. Repeat to create a second layer. Refrigerate for at least 6 hours, then sprinkle with cocoa and maple sugar before serving.

Makes 12 servings.

Source: Federation of Quebec Maple Syrup Producers

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Maple Salmon Fillet with Chives

This recipe also works well with swordfish, trout or tilapia and is ideal for the barbecue or grill. For grilling, fish that has firm flesh is best.

1 680-g (1 1/2 -lb) salmon fillet

125 ml (1/2 cup) chives, chopped

2 cloves of garlic, minced

60 ml (1/4 cup) olive oil

45 ml (3 tbsp) maple syrup

15 ml (1 tbsp) soy sauce

Juice of 1 lemon

Salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat barbecue or grill on medium heat.

Cut salmon fillet into 4 equal parts.

In a bowl, combine chives, garlic, olive oil, maple syrup, soy sauce and lemon juice. Season well. Baste salmon with marinade and refrigerate for 15 minutes, then grill for 3 to 4 minutes on each side (or until desired doneness).

Makes 4 servings.

Source: Federation of Quebec Maple Syrup Producers

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French Toast with Caramelized Apples

Montreal chef Laurent Godbout developed this recipe especially to accompany this story on maple syrup. It would make a wonderful brunch dish for family or friends.

French toast:

60 ml (1/4 cup) 35% cream

175 ml (3/4 cup) milk

2 eggs

7 slices bread, cut into four pieces

2 apples, peeled and sliced

Preheat the oven to 180 C (350 F).

In a bowl, whisk together the cream, milk and eggs. Add the pieces of bread and apples. Pour the mixture into a bread pan. Bake 30 to 35 minutes until the bread is golden brown. Let cool about 1 hour in the refrigerator and cut into 4 equal squares.

Caramel:

375 ml (1 ½ cups) maple syrup

30 ml (2 tbsp) 35% cream

Boil the maple syrup for 2 minutes. Pour carefully over the cream in 3 batches to make a caramel sauce. To glaze the bread, roll it in the caramel 4 or 5 times over low heat.

Serve by topping the bread with the sauce and add whipped cream or ice cream.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: Chef Laurent Godbout, Chez L'Epicier Restaurant, Montreal

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