Pork chops with apple and maple syrup are really easy to make. The combination of apple and maple syrup gives the chops a lovely flavour.
As a child I had a penpal who lived in Canada. I used to be fascinated by her tales of life in Canada and the snow fall. She used to enjoy activities like ice skating which I had never tried.
We used to exchange presents on our birthdays and one of the books she sent me was a Prairie Boys Winter. The book was full of lovely illustrations and was all about how life got hard when it got cold. It was a much loved book.
Being an avid reader I also used to read the Little House on the Prairie books which are set in America. One of the things I loved reading about was maple syrup.
Maple syrup comes from the sap of maple trees, during the hard winter the trees store starch in their roots and trunk. When Spring comes the sap is converted to sugar and rises up the tree. The syrup can be harvested by boring a hole in the tree and collecting the sap.
The books have lovely stories about special feasts to celebrate the maple harvest. The burst of sugar after a long cold winter must have been really welcome.
The first time I encountered maple syrup was on a visit to America as a child. We went for breakfast in a coffee shop and I had American pancakes smothered in maple syrup and served with crispy bacon. Being used to having cereal for breakfast it was an amazing experience, although I confess I could not eat them all as they were very filling. I love making pancakes at home, like cinnamon and maple syrup with pear pancakes. Maple syrup adds a wonderful flavour, it is like a burst of sunshine on the plate. Even better it is lower in calories than sugar and has high antioxidant and mineral levels. It can be used in all sorts of cooking, not just for topping pancakes.
Did you know that maple syrup comes in different grades? I didn’t until the Federation of Quebec Maple Syrup Producers sent me some samples. The syrup comes in different colours depending on when it is harvested. These different grades taste slightly different and can be used for different things. The types are
You can find more information and lots of recipes at www.welovemaple.co.uk
Since I had some maple syrup it seemed like a good idea to use it in a recipe. I had some apples in the fruit bowl that were rather unloved and needed using up so I decided to make pork chops with apple and maple syrup. Pork and apple is always a good combination and the maple syrup added a touch of sweetness to the whole dish that went perfectly. I chose to use the medium grade maple syrup as it seemed to be the best one to use in cooking. The dish was really simple to make and was a lovely warming dinner. Served with mash and peas, the sauce soaked nicely into the mashed potatoes giving them a hint of sweetness.
Do you use maple syrup in your cooking? What do you like to make?