I currently offer a class “The Magic of Maple” at some of the PC Cooking Schools. I put the recipes together because I love the taste of maple syrup and the more applications I find, the more I like to experiment. Here’s a recipe that isn’t from my class but most certainly could be – maybe in the next iteration. It combines a classic butter tart recipe with the distinct taste of maple, and as if it weren’t decadent enough, I’ve topped each cut piece with a round of Lindt Dark Couverture.
In my Etobicoke class we had 26 people and I had a blast making the meal for these maple hungry customers – appetizer, main, sides and dessert – all flavored with maple syrup. I also lucked out by meeting a couple whose family business is maple syrup – McCamus Maple Syrup (Cavan, Ontario). I can’t wait to get there later this Spring, when the drive is nicer and I can spend some time exploring the area. I’ll let you know how my field trip goes – expect pictures, stories and some maple recipes.
In any event, if you like butter tarts and you like maple syrup – you will love this recipe. The shortbread style recipe for the crust gives it a nice bite, different than regular bars of this sort. The flour in the filling firms up the texture a bit so you don’t have a bar that collapses on you (although if you are going to have a bar collapse on you, isn’t it nice to know it contains maple syrup :)). It comes together really easily (and you know how much I like these kind of recipes) and tastes really good. So give it a try. As always – enjoy!
2 cups all-purpose flour
4 tbsp icing sugar
⅔ cups salted butter, room temperature
2 cups brown sugar
½ cup salted butter, melted and cooled to room temp
1 tbsp flour
1 tbsp vinegar
2 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup maple syrup
Preheat oven to 350f
Line a 9×13″ pan with parchment paper – grease the tin (spray or butter), line it with parchment, and grease or spray the parchment. This helps you remove the bars from the pan to the cutting board making it easier to cut – Note, please double the parchment paper, it will make it easier to lift out of the pan when baked
Blend the flour, icing sugar and butter until crumbly – you can use a pastry cutter or your hands, I prefer to use my hands
Press the crumbly dough into the pan and level off – I like to make a ridge along the edge so the filling won’t leak out – you can either press the filling into the side giving it a rise up the sides or actually make a 1 cm border around the pan
Bake for 15 min – it should be lightly golden when done
Let cool on a wire rack – in the mean time make the filling
For the filling, whisk all the remaining ingredients until smooth and pour into the baked cooled crust
Bake for 25 – 35 minutes (I know this is a big time spread, check it at 25 minutes, if it jiggles a lot, it may need 10 minutes more, if it jiggles a little, it may need 5 minutes more – if it doesn’t jiggle – take it out for goodness sake, it’s ready!)
It should be dark golden and look like it’s formed a crust
Optional – space out the chocolate pieces onto the hot bars
Let cool, before cutting so that the filling and chocolate has time to set (the chocolate will melt but retain it’s shape, and firm up as it cools)
Important – slide a knife around the outside of the bars to loosen any maple syrup that might have baked onto the tin – do this now not when it cools as baked sugar is hard to cut through