Early Maple Syrup Season in Wisconsin
While many of our guests were reaping the benefits of the record-breaking warm temperatures in March, like being able to play golf earlier than usual or hop on the bike for a round-trip exercise boost, the maple syrup producers were hard at work, tapping the trees weeks earlier than usual. Thought you’d like to know that Wisconsin ranks No. 4 in maple syrup production, just behind Vermont, New York and Maine. Will maple syrup yields be down because of this wild weather? There’s a good chance of that. But do not fret, our innkeepers are on top of this, and will make sure pancakes and waffles get their share of maple-y goodness. Plus, there’s always the fruit topping alternative once the orchards and farms start producing here, which could be earlier than you think! Here’s a recipe from Brayton B&B in Oshkosh for Crème Brulee French Toast with Streusel Topping, served with strawberry jam, no maple syrup required. Crème Brulee French Toast with Streusel Topping Plan ahead as this dish needs to refrigerate overnight; Makes 4 Servings 1 stick butter 1 cup brown sugar 2 teaspoons corn syrup 1 loaf cinnamon bread 5 large eggs 1 ½ cups half & half 1 teaspoon vanilla extract CRUMB TOPPING ¼ cup brown sugar ½ stick butter ½ teaspoon cinnamon ¼ cup chopped pecans In a saucepan over medium-high heat, bring butter, brown sugar, and corn syrup to a boil. Stir frequently. Pour the mixture into an 8x8 inch baking dish. Layer the bread over the glaze, 2-4 slices high, making them fit the pan. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, half & half, and vanilla until combined. Pour over the bread, cover, and chill overnight. The following morning: Preheat oven to 500 degrees F. Bake, uncovered, for 15 minutes. In a small bowl, mix together the crumb topping; sprinkle over the baked French toast. Bake an additional 10 minutes. Serve with strawberry jam.