My great-grandmother Maggie lived on a farm in Missouri. I don’t know whether or not she had maple syrup. However, I know that she was frugal and creative in a pinch. Tonight was one of those nights for me. I had decided to make breakfast for dinner – eggs, sausage and waffles. Yum! One problem. I realized that we were out of maple syrup.
What to do? Do I turn the three burners off that were currently in the middle of cooking everything ,dress the kids and walk to the store for more? Then the moment of inspiration hit! I’ll make my own. I remembered my mom doing this in a pinch when we were little.
So, here’s how to make your own maple syrup substitute. The taste and texture is actually very similar to the real thing. Everyone in my family loved it and wouldn’t have even realized that it wasn’t maple syrup if I hadn’t told them.
Over dinner (breakfast actually) we decided that such an invention should should be named after Maggie and my husband called it “Missouri Maple Syrup” in honor of her. I think the name has stuck. Here’s how you make your own maple syrup – or something pretty close.
Missouri Maple Syrup: Mix equal parts dark brown sugar and water in a saucepan. I made a small batch using about 1/4 cup brown sugar (learn how to make your own brown sugar here) and 1/4 water. Heat to a simmer. While it’s heating, mix 1 tbl. corn starch and 2 tbl. cold water. When the brown sugar mixture is simmering, gradually pour in the cornstarch mixture and stir until slightly thickened to the consistency of real maple syrup. If you find the syrup too thick add a touch more water. If you can’t use cornstarch, then mix 1 tbl. of flour with a mild tasting oil. Blend well to make a thick paste and add to the mixture on the stove, stirring until thickened.
Everyone loved this so much I may start making big batches of it and storing it in the fridge. When money is tight it’s certainly cheaper than buying real maple syrup. That’s a luxury – an expensive one!