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In spring, families can visit the sugar bush and learn the history of maple syrup and glimpse first hand the boiling of the sap (sweet water) and the making of maple syrup.
Maple syrup history goes back thousands of years and coincides with the arrival of spring, warmer weather and the “Maple Moon.” The sugaring-off period, or maple syrup festival time, is unique to North-Eastern North America.
In Canada, production is primarily in Ontario and Quebec, with some in the Maritimes. Many products are made from the syrup including maple butter, maple taffy in the snow, maple walnut ice cream, cured maple bacon, maple fudge, and a variety of desserts such as baked apples with maple syrup, always a family favourite.
Maple Moon Baked Apples
– For firm apples, use Royal Gala or Fuji apples.
– For softer baked apples, try Cortland apples
- 6 whole apples, cored;
- 1 cup (250 ml) maple syrup;
- 1/2 cup (125 ml) granulated maple sugar;
- 1/2 cup (125 ml) golden raisins;
- 3 tbsp (45 ml) unsalted butter, cut into pieces;
- A pinch of salt.
- Preheat the oven to 180 °C (350 °F).
- Using a paring knife, trim about a 1/2-inch slice from the bottom of each apple, so they sit flat.
- Place the apples in an ovenproof skillet or 8- to 9-inch baking dish.
- Cover the apples with the maple syrup.
- Combine the maple sugar and raisins.
- Divide the mixture between the apples, filling the core cavity. Top with a pat of butter.
- Place the apples on the middle rack of the oven. Bake until tender, approximately 45-50 minutes.
- Serve with ice cream, or continue to create a drizzle from your apple bake. If you used a baking dish, pour the liquid into a skillet. Over medium heat, reduce the apple syrup until it slightly thickens, about 3 minutes.