Maple Syrup Brunch for Six
Each spring as the days warm up and the nights are still below freezing, maple syrup producers work almost day and night to tap the trees and then boil down the highly perishable sap. It takes about 32 to 40 gallons of sap to make one gallon of maple syrup. (For more about this process, see "Sweet Preview of Spring".)
Anyone who loves maple syrup will tell you that one taste of the real stuff will wean you of “maple flavored” syrups forever. And once you know how long it takes to prepare, the cost makes sense as well.
Where to buy it:
Local farmers markets, co-ops, orchards and farm stands will sell maple syrup produced in Michigan and Indiana.
How to store it:
Unopened containers can be stored on the shelf for up to one year. Opened containers should be stored in the refrigerator.
Pairs well with:
Almonds, anise, apples, apricots, bacon, blueberries, butter, caramel, cardamom, carrots, chestnuts, chocolate, cinnamon, cream, dates, duck, French toast, ginger, ham, lemons, limes, mascarpone, nectarines, nutmeg, nuts, oats, onions, pancakes, peaches, pears, pecans, persimmons, plums, pork, pumpkin, raspberries, rhubarb, rum, strawberries, sweet potatoes, turkey, thyme, vanilla, waffles, walnuts, whiskey and yogurt.
Enjoy these dishes together as a brunch or individually. All recipes make 6 servings. In order to have a more leisurely morning, start your brunch preparation the night before.
Things you can do the day before:
• Mix up the donut dough, wrap tightly in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator overnight. First thing in the morning, allow dough to come to room temperature, roll and continue with recipe as written.
• Make the whiskey custard and refrigerate.
Things to do first thing in the morning:
• Fry the donuts, cool and fill them.
• Boil the potatoes.
• Make the maple vinaigrette.
• Wash the spinach and spin dry.
An hour before serving:
• Roast the bacon.
• Roast the potatoes and carrots.
Right before serving:
• Fry the eggs. Keep them warm on plates in oven.
• Toss the spinach with the vinaigrette and plate with the carrots and potatoes on the eggs.