Maple syrup, it's by far the most iconic food item in Canada.
When I was growing up, my parents has a tiny maple tree in the front yard and part of me always wondered if I could actually use it to make syrup.
So I decided to do some research to find out if it was even possible to make your own maple syrup with just one or two maple trees.
It turns out you can!
One good sized maple tree can give you between 2-4 gallons of maple sap in about a week. When boiled down, those 4 gallons of sap will give you about 2 cups of syrup.
So if you have a maple tree and you want to try to make a small batch of homemade maple syrup of your own, here's how to do it:
1. Find the right tree
Trees must be about at least foot in diameter before they can be tapped for maple sap. There are many species of maple trees and they can all produce maple sap, however, three species in particular are used for syrup production: the sugar maple, the black maple, and the red maple.
2. Wait for the perfect temperature
Maple season lasts anywhere from February to April. Ideally you want the temperature to be positive in the daytime and below freezing at night.
3. Tap the tree
Drill a hole the size of your spout, at a slight incline. Put in the spout and hand a bucket below to collect all that sweet sap. cover the bucket to keep the bugs out and let sap collect for at least a week.
4. Boiling down the sap
***Warning! Preferably you should be boiling the sap outside. Boiling large amounts of sap can be extremely dangerous and it will cause a lot of steam.***
Boil the sap until it reaches 7 degrees above the boiling point of water. Keep it boiling until there's only about quarter left of what you started with. After that you can boil it in smaller batches until it reaches the right "syrupy" consistency.
A small amount of dirt and sediment will be left in your syrup after it has been reduced. You can use a regualr coffee filter to get it out (assuming the batch is small enough)
Now all you have to do is put it in a pretty container and voila, you have you own homemade batch of Maple syrup!