One of the first (and most drastic) food related price increases that I noticed over the past year or so was the cost of maple syrup. I found it hard to justify the high price of the real thing at the best of times, but when the price almost doubled last spring, there was no way.
There are lots of other things that you can drizzle over a nice stack of pancakes: homemade jam, pear honey, apple sauce (the only way I’d eat them as a kid), or how about homemade creamy honey syrup. But if you crave the traditional taste of maple syrup, it’s very easy to recreate at home. My mom always made her own when I was growing up – it’s really inexpensive, and tastes a whole lot better than most store bought pancake syrup.
Homemade “Maple” Syrup (makes 2 cups, but can be doubled):
- 1 cup brown sugar (you can use all white, but the brown adds richness)
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1 cup water
- 1 tsp. maple flavoring (may need to adjust amount depending on brand)
Combine sugars and water in a pot. Bring mixture just to the boil (don’t let it bubble for more than a minute or two or you’ll end up with hard candy). Remove from heat and stir in the maple flavoring. Will thicken as it cools.
Decant into a pitcher or jar to serve (I say this, but more often than not we end up serving it warm right from the pot because we don’t realize we’re out of syrup until the pancakes are almost done).
It may not be the healthiest recipe in my repertoire, but it’s definitely one of the most used.