Every year, Maine Maple Sunday is a great opportunity to learn about the importance of maple syrup in Maine's agricultural landscape and enjoy one of our state's favorite sweet treats! Maple sugar and syrup has been produced in Maine since long before European colonists arrived in North America, and now is a crucial part of Maine’s agricultural economy. Last year Maine maple producers harvested 672,000 gallons of syrup, a 30% increase from the previous year, earning Maine the ranking of third largest maple syrup-producing state. In addition to providing us with important agricultural products, maple trees and forests also play a vital role in our resilience to a changing climate by helping to store carbon. Every year on the fourth Sunday in March, sugarhouses across the state open their doors for a day of maple syrup samples, demonstrations on how syrup is made, and to showcase one of Maine’s traditional agricultural products. To learn more about Maine Maple Sunday, and get a sample of which MFT network farms participate, check out this blog post , and for a full list of farms participating in 2023, click here.
Once you've brought the syrup home, it's time to get cooking! While there are many ways to enjoy maple products, MFT staff are excited to share with you some of our favorite ways to incorporate Maine maple syrup into our cooking. From Maple Custard Cake to Firecracker Salmon, we have all sorts of suggestions on what to make. Cook along with us, and let us know which recipes you like the best!
"If you’re like me, the combination of spicy and sweet is the holy grail of seasonings, which is why this Firecracker sauce is a staple in my kitchen. Drizzle it over salmon, pork chops, skin-on chicken thighs, or even brussels sprouts! In about 8 minutes and as many ingredients you will have the perfect marinade or pour-over sauce. It took me a few tries to make sure the sauce didn’t burn when it hit the pan, so watch it carefully and keep it moving. Maple syrup is not just for sweet treats! I hope you enjoy this firecracker sauce as much as I do!" - Isabel Smith, Member Communications & Engagement Manager
"I’m a big fan of hosting brunch. Eggs and fruit are usually the stars of the show, but a little baked good balances out the menu, and these mini maple pancake muffins are just right for the job: easy to make, super flavorful, and a treat for adults and kiddos alike." - Erin Baltes, Development Officer
"I can taste this recipe just as I am thinking of it right now. It is such an experience. If you have ever tasted maple cream, you must know the experience of it melting in your mouth. The maple custard is absorbed into the buttery cake in this recipe, leaving you with something like a delicate bread pudding with a decadent flavor. The experience will certainly highlight that we are on the cusp of spring, bright and dreamy, while still bedded down for the end of winter and needing something rich to bring us comfort." - Danielle Olsen, Chief of Staff
Maple Custard Cake
325g dark maple syrup
240g heavy cream
6g table salt
180g all-purpose flour
36g fine sugar
7g baking powder
113g unsalted butter (one stick), melted
I prefer to use a 12in oval baking dish, since the cake will be served from the dish, but an 8x8in glass or ceramic baking dish will also work -- bake at 375 F.
1. Heat maple syrup, cream, and salt on stovetop over medium heat until simmering; stir and remove from heat.
2. Combine remaining dry ingredients in one bowl and whisk milk & eggs in another. Mix liquids into dry ingredients.
3. Add melted butter and mix until smooth.
4. Pour batter into a baking dish and level it with spatula.
5. Pour maple mixture over cake, starting at one end and moving to the other, allowing for even coverage.
Bake for 30-35 minutes and let cool.
"I am addicted to those maple shortbread sandwich cookies, and one evening last winter I got the craving and decided to try my hand at making my own! I didn't have any maple sugar in my pantry, but I had plenty of maple syrup and some cute squirrel cookie cutters in my cupboard. I found this recipe - and the best part? No chilling the dough necessary. An hour later and I was snacking on my favorite Maine maple treat! Pro tip: skip making the cream filling and just slather on Maine maple cream instead - a faster and even more decadent way to get these cookies straight to your tastebuds!" - Emily Gherman-Lad, Assistant Director of Engagement
“Being able to tap the trees in my own yard is such a joy. Making the syrup takes a lot of time and effort, but it is worth it for the rewards. These sticky buns are one of those rewards. Make them in your favorite cast iron skillet to get a perfect maple glaze. They are so good while melty and warm, or enjoyed cold when the syrup turns into taffy. Plus, your house will smell delicious!” – Courtney Peed, Executive Assistant
“So….this isn’t a baked item, but something we cook regularly for dinner. We do a stir fry with kielbasa, onions & peppers, broccoli, cauliflower, beets, carrots, brussels sprouts, corn, spinach (basically whatever we have for veggies that sounds good), and then drizzle in 1/4-1/3 cup of our homemade maple syrup during the last few minutes of cooking. Great over rice or on its own. One of my favorite dinners!” – Amanda Kaler, Finance Manager
“This is one of my favorite cookie recipes – super simple and incredibly good! I prefer them without chocolate so you can fully enjoy the almond and syrup flavor (and sometimes I sub in part almond flour).” – Molly Heuss, Land Steward
“Sugaring season is the sweetest! It’s always a special treat to use fresh sap instead of water to make your morning coffee. Year-round I use maple syrup to sweeten homemade granola, and add a little extra drizzle of maple to my breakfast yogurt bowl.” – Ellen Sabina, Director of Farmer Engagement and Organizing
1 c rolled oats
1 c unsweetened coconut flakes
2 c seeds (I like a mix of sunflower, pumpkin, sesame, and flax)
Some nuts (slivered almonds, broken up walnuts or pecans)
pinch of salt
whatever spices to taste (cardamom, cinnamon, turmeric…)
1/3 c olive or other oil
1/4 c maple syrup
Mix everything together in a big bowl, spread on a baking sheet or two and bake at 325, stirring occasionally, until everything is toasty ~ 45 min
“I had never made a flan before and was a touch intimidated, but when I saw this recipe for Maple Flan, I just had to try it. A perfect use for the abundance of delicious maple syrup that we have this time of year. I love the simplicity of the recipe, the rich texture and delicate maple flavor, and the fact that it’s easy to make with entirely local ingredients. We had it with empanadas and things disappeared fast. Que rico!” – Shelley Megquier, Policy & Research Director