Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Maple Nuts

Hal has been quite busy these last few weeks (when the weather cooperated anyway), collecting sap, boiling it down and making several batches of maple syrup. He tested different materials for filtering and we determined that an old t-shirt bleached and boiled was not the way to go. He's really got it down to a science now, uses a piece of boiled muslin in a 2 qt steamer basket for the filter, the 4" deep stainless steel buffet pan on the old grill and a new inexpensive, thin walled stainless steel stock pot for the camp stove for boiling the sap. So I got my nicer quality 16 qt pot back as well as my 12 qt unless we get so much sap that he needs it on the smoker/boiler unit he devised.

He's given away a few 12 oz and pint bottles to family and I have a couple more pints put away for mine when I see them.

Then yesterday while I was out buying dog food, I came home to a delightful surprise, maple nuts. Essentially almonds he toasted in the oven then coated in maple syrup boiled down into these:
maple sugar covered almonds

Here is Hal's recipe:
Maple Nuts
12 Oz. Pure Maple Syrup
3 - 4 cups Almonds, Pecans, Peanuts, Cashews, Walnuts, or Filberts (or any mixture of those), shelled.
1+ tablespoon Kosher Salt
Candy or meat thermometer that can read 200 - 250°F
2 qt. saucepan
3 qt. or larger mixing bowl that won't melt
Large metal spoon or metal spatula
Large (ungreased) cookie sheet (or wax paper on a countertop).
Put the nuts in a mixing bowl that can take a high heat (I used a 3 qt. stainless steel mixing bowl). In a 2 qt. sauce pan, carefully heat the syrup to 240°F. It will want to bubble over. Don't let it. It makes a big sticky mess if it does. Pull it off the fire if you have to, and then put it back on as you get it up to sugar temperature. Pour half of the hot syrup into the nuts. Add the salt and stir. Add the rest of the syrup and continue stirring, folding the mixture over and over as the syrup crystallizes. Let one nut cool and taste it as you stir. Add more kosher salt as desired. When the mixture has no more liquid at the bottom of the bowl and the nuts are trying to stick together as the sugar sets, spread it all out on the cookie sheet. Spread it to one layer thick and break up any clumps. Taste one and add more salt if you want. Move the nuts around as they cool until they stop trying to stick together, or to the cookie sheet. It doesn't have to be perfect, just not like peanut brittle. When it's done it will look like this. Enjoy.

Enjoy them I have. I had to put them in a container to stop eating them.

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