Frozen Maple Mousse

Serves 8 to 10.

Note: This rich and easy dessert has the creaminess of a well-churned ice cream, but no machine is required. For best results, use Grade A syrup that is labeled “amber color and rich flavor.” The base needs to be chilled for at least 1 hour. The mousse needs to be frozen for at least 6 to 8 hours, and up to 2 weeks. (For long-term storage, place a piece of wax paper or plastic wrap directly on the surface of the mousse in its sealed container.) Adapted from “Edible: A Celebration of Local Foods,” by Tracey Ryder and Carole Topalian.

• 1 c. pure maple syrup, plus more for drizzling (see Note)

• 4 egg yolks

• 2 c. heavy cream

• Toasted slivered almonds, for garnish, optional

Directions

Heat a few inches of water in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Pour the maple syrup into a heatproof bowl and set it over the saucepan; cook for 4 or 5 minutes. Once the syrup is bubbling at the edges, remove that bowl from the pan.

Whisk the egg yolks in a separate heatproof bowl. Gradually add 2 tablespoons of the hot maple syrup, whisking, then add the tempered egg mixture to the rest of the maple syrup and whisk to incorporate.

Return the maple-syrup bowl (with egg yolks blended in) over the saucepan. Cook for 15 to 20 minutes, whisking, to form a thick and smooth base mixture. Remove from the heat.

Place a piece of parchment paper directly on the surface of this custard (to keep a surface skin from forming), then refrigerate for at least 1 hour, until completely chilled.

Beat the heavy cream in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a balloon-whisk attachment or a handheld electric mixer on medium speed until stiff peaks form (but be careful not to overbeat). Stir 3 heaping spoonfuls of the whipped cream into the cooled maple base. Gently fold in one-third of the remaining whipped cream, and repeat 2 more times to incorporate all the whipped cream. No streaks of white should remain, but there should be some lightness and volume to the mousse.

Divide among individual ramekins or pour into a freezer-safe serving dish. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze for at least 6 to 8 hours. For easy scooping, let the mousse sit at room temperature for 10 minutes before serving.

Garnish each portion with a drizzle of maple syrup and the almonds, if using.

Nutrition information per each of 10 servings:

Calories 270 Fat 19 g Sodium 25 mg

Carbohydrates 23 g Saturated fat 12 g Total sugars 23 g

Protein 2 g Cholesterol 140 mg Dietary fiber 0 g

 

Maple Olive-Oil Pecan Granola

Serves 12.

Note: This is a forgiving granola recipe that readily customizes to fit your taste, budget or pantry. Maintain the ratio of oats to nuts and seeds (and dried fruits, if you’re a dried-fruit person), and have at it. Olive oil can be replaced with coconut oil, grapeseed or safflower oil, or melted butter. Swap out the syrup for honey, brown sugar or palm sugar or even citrus-zest-scented sugar. The raisins and dried cherries can be omitted altogether, but consider swapping in coconut or, dates, or dried mango, pineapple, banana or apple. It’s easy enough to make this recipe every Sunday night for a week of breakfasts, yogurt toppings and fruit crumbles — ready when you are. The granola will stay fresh for about a week. Or you can freeze it for up to a month; defrost on a baking sheet and toast in the oven, if needed, to recrisp. From cookbook author Cathy Barrow.

• 6 c. rolled oats (do not use quick-cooking or instant)

• 1 c. slivered almonds

• 1/2 c. hulled, raw pumpkin seeds (pepitas)

• 1/2 c. raw, unsalted sunflower seeds

• 2 c. pecan halves, broken by hand into bite-size pieces

• 1/2 c. maple syrup

• 1/2 c. olive oil

• 1 tbsp. ground cinnamon

• 1 tbsp. vanilla extract

• 2 tsp. kosher salt

• 1 1/2 c. golden raisins, optional

• 1 1/2 c. dried cherries, chopped, optional

Directions

Position oven racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven. Preheat to 325 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

Stir together the oats, almonds, pumpkin and sunflower seeds and pecans in a large mixing bowl. Add the maple syrup, oil, cinnamon, vanilla extract and salt; toss well to coat.

Spread evenly between the 2 baking sheets; bake on the upper and lower racks for 15 minutes, rotating the sheets top to bottom and front to back halfway through.

Remove from the oven and immediately divide the golden raisins and dried cherries between the 2 baking sheets, if using, stirring them in well so the hot granola plumps the fruit. Cool thoroughly before storing in an airtight container.

Nutrition information per ½ cup:

Calories 250 Fat 17 g Sodium 95 mg

Carbohydrates 21 g Saturated fat 2 g Total sugars 6 g

Protein 6 g Cholesterol 0 mg Dietary fiber 4 g

 

Grilled Maple-Marinated Portobello Mushrooms

Serves 4.

Note: Toss these on the grill — or in a grill pan — for a meatless main or as a sweet-smoky ingredient for your favorite salad. The mushrooms need to marinate in the refrigerator for 1 to 6 hours. Adapted from “Dishing Up Vermont: 145 Authentic Recipes From the Green Mountain State,” by Tracey Medeiros.

• 1/3 c. pure maple syrup

• 1/3 c. low-sodium soy sauce

• 1/3 c. maple vinegar, apple cider vinegar or plain rice vinegar

• 4 large portobello mushrooms, stems and gills removed

• Kosher salt

• Freshly ground black pepper

Directions

Whisk together the maple syrup, soy sauce and vinegar in a liquid measuring cup, then pour into a large zip-top bag. Add the mushrooms and press air out of the bag, then seal and massage to coat. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour, and up to 6 hours.

When ready to grill, preheat a gas grill to medium-high (350 degrees, direct heat). If using a charcoal grill, light the charcoal; once the coals are ready, distribute them evenly in the cooking area. For a medium fire, you should be able to hold your hand about 6 inches above the coals for 6 to 7 seconds. Have ready a spray water bottle for taming any flames.

Remove the mushrooms from the marinade and pat them dry with paper towels; season them lightly with salt and pepper. Reserve the marinade in the bag (for basting). Arrange them on the grill; cover and cook for a total of 8 to 10 minutes (the latter for thicker caps), turning and basting them with some of the reserved marinade, as needed. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Nutrition information per serving:

Calories 30 Fat 0 g Sodium 190 mg

Carbohydrates 6 g Saturated fat 0 g Total sugars 5 g

Protein 2 g Cholesterol 0 mg Dietary fiber 1 g

 

Maple-Chipotle Basting Sauce

Makes about 2 1/2 cups.

Note: This is zippy and rich-tasting, with bits of onion and the chipotle giving it a nice texture. The sauce goes particularly well with grilled pork tenderloin. The sauce can be refrigerated for up to 5 days, or frozen for up to 1 month. Defrost in the refrigerator overnight and stir before using. Adapted from “Perfect Party Food: All the Recipes and Tips You’ll Ever Need for Stress-Free Entertaining,” by Diane Phillips.

• 2 tbsp. grapeseed or canola oil

• 1/2 medium onion, finely chopped (about 1/2 c.)

• 2 canned chipotles in adobo, drained and chopped

• 1/2 c. pure maple syrup

• 1 c. bottled chili sauce (such as Heinz brand)

• 1 c. no-salt-added chicken broth (or substitute vegetable broth)

Directions

Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the onion and chiles; cook for about 5 minutes, until the onion begins to soften, then add the maple syrup, chili sauce and broth. Once the mixture begins to bubble, reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for about 30 minutes, or until thickened a bit. Let cool before serving or storing.

Nutrition information per 2 tablespoons:

Calories 50 Fat 2 g Sodium 200 mg

Carbohydrates 9 g Saturated fat 0 g Total sugars 8 g

Protein 0 g Cholesterol 0 mg Dietary fiber 0 g

 

Maple Pecan Butter

Serves 6 (makes about 2/3 cup).

Note: Spread this one on whole-wheat toast for breakfast or on a slice of pumpkin bread at teatime. The butter can be refrigerated, tightly covered, for up to 3 days in advance; or wrap it tightly in plastic wrap, then seal inside a freezer zip-top bag and freeze for up to 1 month. Toast the pecans in a small, dry skillet over medium-low heat for a few minutes, shaking the pan as needed to avoid scorching, until the nuts are fragrant and lightly browned. Cool completely before chopping. Adapted from “Sarabeth’s Good Morning Cookbook: Breakfast, Brunch, and Baking,” by Sarabeth Levine with Genevieve Ko.

• 8 tbsp. (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature

• 2 tbsp. maple syrup

• 1/2 oz. unsalted pecan halves, toasted and finely chopped (see Note)

• Flaked sea salt, for garnish, optional

Directions

Mash together the butter and maple syrup in a medium bowl until well combined and smooth.

Fold in the chopped, toasted pecans until evenly distributed. Cover with plastic wrap directly on the surface and refrigerate until ready to use.

Just before serving, sprinkle with the sea salt, if desired.

Nutrition information per serving:

Calories 170 Fat 17 g Sodium 0 mg

Carbohydrates 5 g Saturated fat 10 g Added sugars 5 g

Protein 0 g Cholesterol 40 mg Dietary fiber 0 g

Maple-Spiced Glazed Nuts

Serves 6 to 8.

Note: These maple-glazed nuts, with their warming hints of cinnamon and cayenne, are not only scrumptious eaten out of hand, but they can instantly elevate a cheese plate, salad, roasted vegetables and a simple bowl of yogurt. The nuts can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks. From cookbook author Ellie Krieger.

• 3 tbsp. maple syrup

• 1/4 tsp. salt

• 1/8 tsp. ground cayenne pepper

• 1/8 tsp. ground cinnamon

• 1 1/2 c. unsalted walnut or pecan halves

Directions

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

Stir together the maple syrup, salt, cayenne pepper and cinnamon in a medium bowl until well blended, then stir in the nuts so they are evenly coated. Spread the nuts on the baking sheet in a single layer, drizzling over them anything that’s left in the bowl.

Roast on the middle rack for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring them every 2 to 3 minutes, until browned, shiny and fragrant. (If you don’t stir them, they will burn.) Let cool completely; they will crisp up as they cool.

Nutrition information per each of 8 servings of pecans:

Calories 150 Fat 13 g Sodium 75 mg

Carbohydrates 8 g Saturated fat 1 g Total sugars 6 g

Protein 2 g Cholesterol 0 mg Dietary fiber 2 g