Tag Archives: syrup

Lula’s Sugar Series – The Wet Stuff Part 3 – Maple Syrup

DANGER WILL ROBINSON!  “Pancake Syrup” is not Maple Syrup.  Pancake syrup is most likely the dark corn syrup we talked about last week.  If you want your pancakes to taste amazing stay away from “Pancake Syrup” and stick to real, expensive, Maple Syrup.  The good news: you don’t have to turn your pancakes into “pancake-maple soup” to enjoy the unctuous benefits of Maple Syrup.  A light drizzle will sweeten and enhance your pancake batter delightfully.  So you’re spending the same amount of money anyway.  Here’s why:

Maple syrup is no more than the sap of the maple tree siphoned off, then boiled down from 40 gallons of sap to ONE gallon of syrup.  During this process the sap caramelizes, giving maple syrup its lovely golden to amber color.

This is how maple syrup is graded – by its color – denoting the amount of caramelization.  Grade A comes in Dark Amber or Light Amber, and Grade B is the strongest and darkest, which Lula’s for Lunch…and More! Catering likes to use for cooking.  We are also not opposed to using maple syrup in cocktails – ask for one to be made at your next cocktail party!  Lula is religious about finding all ingredients that work well with whiskies. Also, for your next Brunch be SURE to ask for Lula’s for Lunch…and More! Catering ‘s  Homemade Maple-Vanilla Yogurt.

A History of Transparency – or, Pecan Pie

dessert-pecan-pie-13

‘Tis the season, and I thought you might be interested in the humble beginnings of one of America’s favorite holiday desserts.

Transparent, or Syrup, Pie, has been around the US for eons – it uses the most basic of readily available ingredients and even the poorest usually have them on hand: eggs, butter, and a sweetener in the form of whatever’s local (honey, maple, sorghum, cane, molasses).   The Industrial Revolution came along and the US began to have a surplus of corn, and of course, we had to figure out what to do with it, so,  at the beginning of the 20th century, a cheap liquid sugar was invented using cornstarch, by the Corn Products Refining Company – and they called it Karo. 

In the late 1920’s-early 30’s an executive’s wife (of the heretofore mentioned Corn Products Refining Company) made a transparent pie using Karo, and added pecans.  Notice the wife’s name is not in the history books.  As usual in a capitalist society, let’s create that need then fill it!  The CPRC began heavily marketing KARO pie and an American staple was born. 

This same pie, with added cream, is called syrup pie.  It tastes (no WAY!) creamier and more custardy, but is still extremely similar to transparent pie taste.  It’s a little runnier and you need to adjust your solids to your liquids if you’re going to try this avenue.  A great way is to substitute only egg yolks instead of whole eggs as the yolks contain less water than whites.

My bottom line is – if you like historical recipes, go ahead and try Karo Pie (google google google!).  But if you really want a great tasting Pecan Pie, use an original sweetener – my favorite being maple – but that’s for YOU to decide.  I also add bourbon because I’m, well, me!