Grandfathers in maple syrup

Even though poutine has since found its way into my midnight-snack regime, today I’ll share with you a lesser known treat from traditional French Canadian kitchens: grand-pères au sirop d’érable.

‘Grandfathers in maple syrup’ are traditionally served in sugar shacks throughout Quebec during maple tapping season. These scrumptious dumplings simmered in syrup are best made with Grade B maple syrup, as it is dark and intense in flavour.

Ingredients (serves 6)

• 1 cup maple syrup (grade B)

• 1 cup water

• 1-1/2 cup flour

• 3 tsp baking powder

• 4 tbsp unsalted butter,

• 1/4 tsp vanilla extract

• 1/2 tsp salt

• 3/4 cup 2% milk


1. Combine the syrup and water into a heavy bottomed pot and bring to a
gentle boil.

2. In the meantime, combine flour and baking soda in
a bowl.

3. Mix the butter into the dry ingredients with your fingertips until it resembles coarse sand. Cold butter can be grated on the coarse side of a grater. This makes mixing it in with the dry ingredients much faster!

4. Add the milk and vanilla and stir with a wooden spoon until just combined. Use your hands to work any stray bits into the dough. Don’t overwork it.

5. Use two teaspoons or your hands to form toonie sized balls and drop them carefully into the simmering syrup. Put as many in as to cover the surface of the syrup. The dumplings will expand to about twice their
original size.

6. Flip the dumplings once with your spoons after you’ve filled the pot, this to make sure both sides colour nicely. Be careful, you don’t want them to fall apart.

7. Cover the pot and simmer on a low heat for about
12 minutes, or until the tops of the dumplings are dry to the touch.

8. Serve with vanilla ice cream as a dessert or add a bit of yoghurt for a sweet brunch.