With our move to Vermont Grand View Farm, we dug our feet deep into the roots of Vermont’s agricultural heritage. Bringing back a farm that had laid fallow for 75 years, we brought new life to the property. We filled the farmhouse with our family of five, and filled the barn and over grown pastures with animals. In the spring of our first year, we hung buckets on the 150 year old maple trees that line the property. We wanted to live fully, to embrace the agrarian culture of the state we live in.
Our small evaporator sits in an old milk house, where the farmers of days long ago would bottle and cool their milk. A handwritten sign hangs inside which reads, “Daddy’s Sugar House”. Here we have spent many hours boiling the sap from our trees to supply us with 100% pure maple syrup for the coming year. We make enough syrup for our personal needs, and a little extra for gifting and bartering. At the end of the winter, we take stock of our supply from the previous season. If a bottle still sits, unopened on the shelf, we make maple candy-a family tradition.
My daughter Emily, returned from Germany this March, hoping to be home for sugaring season. Unfortunately, winter would not loosen her grip on our farm during her visit. To satisfy her desire to be a part of sugaring this season, she became our candy maker.
How to Make Maple Candy
Sugar on Snow
- Pour 100% pure maple syrup into a heavy saucepan. Cook over medium heat with a candy thermometer in the pot.
- While syrup cooks, pack clean snow into a pan or bowl and set aside.
- Continue to cook until the syrup until it reaches between 232 and 234 degrees. The syrup will bubble up as it heats.
- Pour the syrup on top of the snow allowing it to set.
- Lift the hardened candy off the top of the snow and enjoy!
- Continue cooking the syrup in the saucepan while you enjoy eating the Sugar on Snow.
- When the syrup reaches 240 degrees, remove the pot from the heat.
- Allow the syrup to cool down to 165-175 degrees. It usually takes about 10 minutes to cool.
- Stir the candy vigorously until it has a sugary appearance and begins to thicken.
- Quickly pour the candy into molds and let it cool completely before removing.
Emily Goodling, the candy maker, is a graduate student at the Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz, Germany.