Maple Magic

Updated: Feb 18

The maple is synonymous with Canada, an emblem since the 18th century and official on the Canadian flag since the proclamation by Queen Elisabeth II in January 1965. With over 100 species of maple, the most common is the Red Maple also known as Acer rubrum. The maple tree is used for high-end furniture, creating hardwood flooring that can be found in bowling alleys and that of the sweet maple syrup. Did you know it takes 45 litres of xylem sap from the sugar maple, to make just one litre of maple syrup? Here's more about magical maple.

Street stand covered in snow to make and buy a maple taffy
Outside la petite cabane a sucre, Quebec

Maple Magic

Maple syrup was first made and used by the indigenous people of North America. Today 85% of the world's maple syrup comes from Canada, with Quebec being the largest producer with 70%.

Planning a visit to Quebec? Discover more at the maple museum.

Landscape of Quebec during winter
Views of Quebec from the Observatoire de la Capitale

Maple Tree

Ten maple tree species are native to Canada including sugar, black, silver, bigleaf, red, mountain, stripped, Douglas, vine and Manitoba. The sugar maple produces the most prolific sap.

The sugar maple can be tapped up to, but not more than three times. Grown to over 40 years old and at least 10 inches in diameter to be tapped. Did you know you can even eat the young maple leaves? Some prefer them fried!

The red maple being reflected in the pond waters below
The red maple being reflected in the pond waters below ©MDHarding

Maple Syrup

Maple syrup can be enjoyed over pancakes, muffins and used in Scotland over porridge (it's meant to be salt but I have a sweet tooth;). Did you know replacing refined sugar with pure maple syrup is a healthier alternative? It's said to be filled with more nutrients and antioxidants than honey!

Banana and Maple Syrup Crepe on a white plate
Banana and Maple Syrup Crepe

Maple Biscuits

The authentic Canadian maple sandwich biscuits with maple creme filling are to die for! The decorated Canadian maple leaf-shaped buttery shortcrust biscuit breaks with a snap, while the maple creme centre melts in your mouth. Made with real Canadian maple syrup, they are not too sweet and really delicious.

These ones are produced by David in Quebec and are primarily for the Canadian domestic market. There are other brands available. I am really lucky to have a great friend who sent these to me.

If you are in the UK and would love to try all things maple, I have recently discovered Pure Maple. Might have to try the fudge (wink).

If you would like to bake your own here's a great recipe to try from Rosemary at #AnItalianInMyKitchen - Maple leaf Sandwich Cookies.

A white plate with David maple leaf shaped maple sandwich biscuits.
David Maple Leaf Biscuits ©MDHarding

Maple Pecan Pie Bars


For the crust:

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1 cup plain flour

  • 6 tablespoons packed light brown sugar

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 8 ounces (16 tablespoons) good-quality unsalted butter, melted

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract

For the filling:

  • 4 ounces (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter

  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar

  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup

  • 2 tablespoons crème fraîche or heavy cream

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract

  • Pinch salt

  • 3 cups chopped pecans

So easy to make and very tasty. Are you inspired to give them a go?

White plate with homemade maple pecan slices.
Maple Pecan Slices ©MDHarding