Maple recipes from Quebec don’t get any more authentic. Not only is maple syrup unique to North America, but 80% of the world supply comes from Quebec. To give you an idea: Vermont is the largest producer in the U.S. with 500,000 gallons a year. Quebec blows that away with 6,500,000 gallons. With that much syrup on hand, you can bet that it finds its way into all kinds of foods.
It’s delicious in lots of other ways besides poured on top of pancakes or waffles.
True, maple trees are tapped in late winter or early spring, but many of us don’t start to think about the flavor until autumn sets in. Maybe it’s the bright colors of the leaves, the cool weather, and the heartier meals that make us crave the sweetness.
Authentic maple recipes from Quebec
During my month in Quebec earlier this year, I joined a cooking class based on “érable,” the word that French-speaking citizens of the province call maple. Pronounced “Eh-RAH-bluh.” Our chef demonstrated how to make a meal using maple syrup in every course. At first, I thought it would be a sugary overload. But those clever Quebecois know just how to add a hint of maple…
No “pancake” syrup here….that’s made from high fructose corn syrup and assorted chemicals. Pure maple syrup is pricey, pricier, and priciest, depending on its classification. Canada has three grades: Canada #1, including Extra Light (sometimes known as AA), Light (A), and Medium (B); #2 Amber (C); and #3 Dark (D). Expect to pay at least $1 an ounce.
I’ve translated the recipes from French, so you can get right to your own Maple Magic. I enjoyed them all–the cake may be one of the best I’ve ever tasted!
Pork Tenderloin with Maple (Filet de porc à l’érable)
1 pork tenderloin (1 pound)
2 Tablespoons oil
½ cup chicken broth or bouillon
¼ cup maple syrup (not pancake or breakfast syrup)
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon ketchup
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 small onion, minced
salt and pepper
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- In a small bowl, mix the broth/bouillon, maple syrup, mustard, ketchup, and cornstarch. Set aside.
- Slice the pork tenderloin into medallions.
- In a non-stick skillet, heat the oil and brown the medallions on both sides. Place in an ovenproof pan and put them in the oven for 8-10 minutes.
- While the pork is in the oven, put the onion in the skillet and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring from time to time. Add the sauce to the onion.
- Remove the pork from the oven and add to the sauce. Simmer for 2 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Grilled Vegetables with Maple Syrup (Légumes grillés avec sirop d’érable)
1 bunch broccoli, separated
1 cup cremini mushrooms
1 carrot, sliced
1 eggplant, cut in slices, then quartered
1 red onion, sliced
1 red pepper, sliced
2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar (more as desired)
2 Tablespoons maple syrup (not pancake or breakfast syrup)
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1½ teaspoon dried thyme
Freshly ground salt and pepper, to taste
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Lightly oil a baking sheet
- Place all the vegetables in a single layer on the baking sheet.
- Add the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, maple syrup, garlic, and thyme. Salt and pepper to taste. Gently mix to cover the vegetables.
- Place in the oven for 12-15 minutes, or until tender.
- Serve immediately.
Maple Cake (Gâteau à l’érable)
½ cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups flour
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1-1/3 cups buttermilk
1½ cups maple syrup (not pancake or breakfast syrup)
1½ cups brown sugar
1½ cups whipping cream
1/3 cup butter
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees
- Cake: In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, combine the butter and sugar until fluffy. Add the eggs and vanilla. In a second bowl, combine the flour and baking powder. Add to the butter mixture, alternating with the buttermilk. Mix well. Pour into a 9″ x 13″ pan.
- Sauce: In a large pan, bring to boiling the syrup, brown sugar, whipping cream, and butter, stirring the entire time. Reduce the flame/heat and simmer for 2 minutes until the is slightly reduced. Pour gently over the cake batter.
- Bake for 35 minutes or until the cake is golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Want more maple recipes from Quebec?
If you start to think about having your own French experience, without going to Paris: