All About Dennis Farms Pure Maple Sugar

 

 

WHAT IS IT?

Pure maple sugar is the sugar that makes maple syrup sweet.  It is basically maple syrup minus the water.  It has a similar look and texture to brown sugar and a maple flavor.

WHY USE IT?

It has all the nutritional and health benefits of pure maple syrup: vitamins, minerals, low glycemic index, numerous antioxidants; also, no chemicals, preservatives or additives.  It is not bleached or refined.  The unique texture and flavor make it great for baking.  Many people who are allergic to white table sugar or corn syrup can safely use maple sugar.

HOW DO WE MAKE IT?

We heat pure maple syrup(the only ingredient) to 252-260 degrees F. (If you try making it, be EXTREMELY careful.  Boiling, foamy syrup at this heat will cause third degree burns almost instantly.)  The hot syrup is stirred constantly in a Hobart mixer.  When the syrup reaches room temperature, it will be a supersaturated sugar solution.   As it cools and stirs, sugar crystals start to form and the syrup becomes cloudy, then it thickens to the consistency of wet cement.  Then the sugar crystal formation really takes over.  Crystal formation generates heat, so at this stage, a noticeable burst of steam comes off the mixing pan.  The sugar then breaks into a powder that is sifted, allowed to air dry, is resifted and packaged.

HOW DO YOU USE IT?

Use pure maple sugar like you would either regular white or brown sugar.  Sweeten coffee, tea, hot cereal, sprinkle on buttered toast, use it in baking or in fruit smoothies.  Maple sugar will melt in the oven and form a nice maple glaze on ham, squash, fish, etc.(just keep an eye on it so it doesn’t burn)

STORAGE/SHELF LIFE

If kept dry, maple sugar has an indefinite shelf life.  Just keep it in a dry cupboard or drawer.


 



 

 

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WHO WE ARE

Who are we at Dennis Farms?   Myself, Kevin Dennis, my wife and my two teenage sons: a small family owned business.  This business is essentially a hobby that got out of hand.

PREHISTORY

Back in High School, I helped my dad make a small amount of maple syrup as a hobby for several years.  I kept a wood fire going under a cast iron kettle and added sap as needed.

RECENT HISTORY

I went to college, married and got a career in middle management.

BEGINNINGS

In the late 1980′s, we moved from upstate New York to our current location, a 120 acre, very rural(1.5 miles of dirt road, I call it equally inaccessible from all points) farm in Northwestern Pennsylvania.  I made the fateful comment to my wife, “There are a lot of maple trees on the property, let’s tap a few just for a hobby.

A HOBBY?

We started with 10 taps, 10 became 25, then 50.  Pretty soon I bought an evaporator, built a sugarhouse and expanded to 700 taps on tubing.  Now I have 4500 taps and plan to expand to 5000-6000 ASAP.

 

MARKETING

We started out selling at Arts and Crafts festivals.  After two years, we decided to try wholesale.  I attended the Chicago Gift Show in 1997 and met a sales rep.  He got our products in most of the natural food grocers in the Chicago area.  We eventually got our products in several distribution warehouses, and in natural grocers in most of the country.

BACK TO THE FUTURE

Since the economy crashed in 2008, the natural grocery business has gotten much more difficult.  To make ends meet, we have had to add a heavy schedule of  Arts and Craft festivals again.  We now are doing 30-40 festivals per year.  Between the remaining Grocery business, the festivals and our online store, we are holding our own.

 

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ALL ABOUT DENNIS FARMS MAPLE SYRUP

ALL ABOUT DENNIS FARMS MAPLE SYRUP

Here at Dennis Farms we run 4500 taps each year to make delicious, healthy maple syrup–but there is much to know about the product.

WHAT IS IT?–Sap from maple trees boiled down to a concentration of 66-67% sugar content.  CONTAINS NOTHING ELSE!

WHAT SUGARS ARE IN IT?—88-99% sucrose, 0-11% glucose & fructose.

WHY USE IT?—Unique, delicious taste; all natural product, no chemicals, preservatives or additives; health benefits.

WHAT ARE THE HEALTH BENEFITS? Contains calcium, magnesium and zinc, the three most important minerals needed for good health; contains niacin, and vitamins B2 and B5; contains numerous antioxidant compounds, some also found in berries, tea, and red wine.

HOW DOES IT COMPARE TO OTHER SWEETENERS?

sweetener                 serving     calories    carbs                  minerals(over .5%DV)

Maple syrup               2 tsp              45         9g                  Manganese(22% DV), zinc(4% DV)

White(table)sugar     2 tsp              33         8g                                None

Agave nectar syrup   2 tsp             40          8g                               None

Honey                          2 tsp             43          11g                              None

HOW DO I USE IT?   Sweeten anything—coffee, tea, hot cereals, pancakes, waffles, french toast, on ice cream; excellent in iced tea and fruit smoothies; sugar substitute in baking(Use 3/4 cup maple syrup to replace 1 cup sugar, reduce heat 25 degrees, reduce liquids by about 2T per cup of maple syrup used).

WHAT ABOUT THE GRADES?  The grades of pure maple syrup are Light Amber(Fancy), Medium Amber, Dark Amber and Grade B.  The grades are based on color and flavor.  The grade of syrup depends on length of time boiling(the sugars brown over the heat)  and the % of glucose and fructose, these sugars brown more readily than sucrose and are present in higher amounts late in the production season.  Which grade to choose is strictly a matter of personal taste.

Light Amber is the color of champagne and has an extremely delicate flavor–it is used mainly in maple candy and maple cream

Medium Amber is a shade or two darker than Light Amber and has a mild maple flavor–this is used extensively as a table syrup

Dark Amber is another shade or two darker and has a strong maple flavor–it is used for baking or as a table syrup for those that prefer a stronger flavor

Grade B is darker still and has quite a robust maple flavor—it is good for cooking and baking, or if you like a very strong maple flavor

HOW DO YOU CARE FOR MAPLE SYRUP?

It is best kept refrigerated, even before opening.  This brings the flavor out, makes it thicker(won’t use it up as fast) and eliminates the possibility of mold.  Although a sealed container at the correct density won’t mold, if the storage temperature fluctuates, condensation could form under the lid and thin the top layer of syrup.   Thin syrup will mold.  If you open a container and it has a thin layer of mold on the top, you can use it if you remove the mold and heat the syrup to boiling.   If you want to store sealed maple syrup at room temperature, invert the container once a month and this should prevent any possibility of mold.

Keep the lid on your maple syrup when not pouring it.   Water evaporates easily from maple syrup.  If too much evaporates, your syrup will get too thick and sugar crystals(maple rock candy) will form inside the container

 

ENJOY DENNIS FARMS PURE MAPLE SYRUP, AN ALL-NATURAL TASTE OF NATURE!

 

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Dennis Farms May 2012 Festival Schedule

DENNIS FARMS MAY 2012 FESTIVAL SCHEDULE

 

DATE                                                 EVENT                                                         LOCATION

4/28-29      Whole Being Expo by Thunder Mountain Lenape’ Nation       Antiochian Village

Bolivar, PA

5/5-6                                            Athens Artsfest                                                  Athens, PA

5/12                                     Flower and Jazz Festival                                     Westminster, MD

5/13                                        Olde York Street Fair                                                York, PA

5/19-20                                          Lilac Festival                                                   Rochester, NY

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New Event

Check out new event at  http://www.facebook.com/dennisfarms

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Call me “Woodsplumber”

You can call me woodsplumber; that is what I do.  To make my  maple syrup, I have an extensive plumbing sysytem covering 50-60 acres of my woodlot for sap collection.  There is 7.5 miles of black plastic pipe and 14 miles of 5/16″ plastic tubing, 4500 taps and numerous other fittings.  This was quite the ambitious project, which was done over a 3-4 year period.

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Dennis Farms Twitter

Dennis Farms has a new Twitter account: @DennisFarms1

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New Online Store!

Check out our new and improved online store!

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Taste and Tour

March 24 and 25 is taste and tour weekend.  This is an open house tour of our facilities; includes Q&A and samples.

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Recent Update–Show Booths

Sorry no recent posts–I have been overwhelmed building two 12 X 14 wooden booths; one each for Shaker Woods and Penn’s Colony.  The one at Shaker is done–had a good first weekend.  Booth # 2 is 1/4-1/3 done.  Tomorrow will be a long day of work on it.

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