Maple Sugar

Appears in
On Food and Cooking

By Harold McGee

Published 2004

  • About
Maple sugar is made by concentrating the syrup’s sucrose to the point that it will crystallize when the syrup cools. This point is marked by a boiling temperature of 25–40°F/14–25°C above the boiling point of water, or 237–250°F/114–125°C at sea level. Left to itself, the syrup will form coarse crystals thinly coated with the remainder of the brown, flavorful syrup. Maple cream, a malleable mixture of very fine crystals in a small amount of dispersed syrup, is made by cooling the syrup very rapidly to about 70°F/21°C by immersing the pan in baths of iced water, and then beating it continuously until it becomes very stiff. This mass is then gently rewarmed until it becomes smooth and semisoft.