About a month ago, maybe a little longer, I got a care package in the mail from a couple in Vermont, Randy and Merrilou. I’ve never met this couple. They only know me through the show. They took it upon themselves to send me a Vermont care package, just because. It was extremely humbling. In the HUGE box, they stuffed 2 half-gallon jugs of maple syrup, 2 local microbrew beers to try, some King Arthur flour, a maple recipes booklet, some amazing maple butter (this was new to me, and it is FANTASTIC on toast, if you ever get a chance) and a maple syrup grading pack.
Never in my life have I been in possession of so much maple syrup! It was exciting, but also, you know that feeling you get when you finally get your hands on a precious thing and part of you wants to just hide it and hoard it and never use it or let it see the light of day? That’s kind of how I felt about this maple syrup. I have a little bit of a complex about “expensive” things. But I gotta get over it.
The concept of maple ice cream existed in my head somewhere; I don’t know where I’d heard of it, I’d certainly never had it, but it seemed like one of those romatic things people in New England get to eat. But ice cream — real, egg custard-based ice cream — takes a little bit of time to make. And I ain’t got time for that! So I came up with this super-snappy maple frozen yogurt recipe and it is killer. Ever had Pinkberry? Well, this is like that, but naturally sweetened with pure maple syrup. The nonfat Greek yogurt keeps it fairly low in calories and adds that distinct tang; the heavy cream ensures some creaminess; the rum (or bourbon or orange liqueur) lowers the freezing point of the business to keep it scoopable when frozen. You could omit that if you’re against booze in frozen yogurt recipes. ‘Sup to you.
- 2 cups nonfat Greek yogurt
- ½ cup heavy cream
- ½ cup maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon rum
- Maple pecans:
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon or nutmeg
- Combine ice cream ingredients with a whisk and chill.
- Put pecans in a dry skillet over medium heat and toast, stirring, about 5 minutes.
- Add the syrup and cook, stirring, another 3 minutes until the syrup begins to “dry”.
- Sprinkle with cinnamon and remove from heat.
- Once the yogurt mix is thoroughly chilled (At least one hour, and up to 2 days) freeze it in your ice cream dealie as per your manufacturer’s instructions. Frozen yogurt probably will freeze quicker than ice cream, so check it a little sooner than normal.
- Serve topped with maple pecans right away for a soft-serve texture (I think it’s the best!) or pack into an airtight container and freeze for an hour for a firmer, scoopable texture.
Another light frozen delight: my great-grandma’s Grape Ice recipe
According to the maple syrup grading set also included in my care package, the mysterious “back yard” maple syrup in the half-gallon jugs looks to be Grade A Dark Amber. Do you agree?