A few weeks ago I realized that it was maple season. Living in New England I have had the pleasure of enjoying Sugar Shack season, when Maple syrup is ready and local sugar shacks come alive, offering pancakes and waffles with their own maple syrup. My favorite places to eat are the more remote, surrounded by farmland, maple trees, and where parking lots aren’t paved. Early in the season, you can see the steam coming out of the shack where they are still boiling the sap to make the delicious amber colored syrup that we all love.
In order to celebrate maple season, I decided to bake a couple of desserts. The first, described here, is a maple cheesecake. I never make cheesecake, feeling quite intimidated by the baking process – bake it too long and it cracks, too little and it’s runny. But I am glad that I took this on because it turned out absolutely delicious! When I bake with maple syrup, I tend to use the one with dark color and robust taste – formerly Grade B. If you don’t have access to it, any real maple syrup would be fine.
As it often happens, this recipe, from The view from great island blog, requires graham crackers. Though it also adds walnut to the crust mix, so that gave me an idea for a baked walnut crust, which would be gluten-free. And the salted maple caramel sauce is a wonderful added bonus.