The Food and Wine Festival in Epcot features the Appleseed Orchard exhibit in Canada. Yes, we’re aware they serve delicious drinks and fantastic popcorn, but you can also get some amazing maple syrup! One trip to the sample table and I found myself spending $40 on a bottle of their Brandy Barrel Aged Maple Syrup from Burton’s Maplewood Farm.
Like most people when they acquire insanely good maple syrup, I promptly made too many pancakes and waffles for my child to consume. I quickly filled my freezer with delicious breakfast carbs that could be used as a vessel for my new liquid purchase, but I wanted to explore a bit more. Hence, the maple love in the title. I researched several recipes online using maple syrup as the star and managed to combine a few of those recipes with some of my own ideas to come up with the perfect dessert to justify spending more on maple syrup than I do on shoes annually.
A few important notes before we get into the recipe. First of all, I am just a mom who bakes. While I have won actual baking contests for my chocolate chip cookies, I am not claiming to be a professional in any sense of the word. This is just a recipe that I love, using excellent quality products I found in Epcot, served in a dish also purchased in Epcot. Additionally, this is not allergy or gluten friendly. It’s also heavy on butter and sugar. Finally, it’s the single best thing I’ve ever baked (opinion supported by my immediately family) and I need to re-do my budget to now include pricey maple syrup. Ok. Disclaimers done.
Crust – 1 cup flour, 1 stick of unsalted butter (room temp), and 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
Batter – 1 cup walnuts, 1 1/4 cup maple syrup, 3/4 cup packed brown sugar, 1/2 cup unsalted butter, 2 eggs, 2 TB flour, a pinch of salt, 1 tsp vanilla extract, and 1/2 tsp cinnamon
Set oven to 350 F.
Toast the walnuts in a dry, non-stick pan on medium-low heat. This took me just a few minutes and I have found when you can smell the walnuts that means they’re toasted.
Chop the walnuts and sprinkle the cinnamon over the nuts while they’re still warm. Set aside.
Combine 1 cup of flour, room temperature stick of butter, and 1/4 cup brown sugar in an 8″ oven-safe baking dish. Use a fork to combine until the ingredients resemble a crumb mixture. Press firmly into the bottom of the pan and bake for 10 minutes.
Set aside the baked crust.
In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine toasted walnuts, maple syrup, vanilla, and 3/4 cup of brown sugar and bring to a boil. The pan structure is important, as anyone with candy making experience knows. Or, anyone who has burned sugar or syrup in a thin pan as the author has done on more than one occasion. Bring mixture to a boil and then simmer on low for 5-7 minutes. Remove filling mixture from the heat and stir in 1/2 cup butter. Stir until melted and set aside. In a separate bowl, beat 2 eggs, 2 tbs of flour, and pinch of salt. So that the eggs don’t scramble when you add them to the nut mixture, place the pan in a bowl of ice water to cool it down a bit. If it gets too cold it will seize up and you’ll need to start again and you’ll be tempted to send me hate mail. I speak from experience. Don’t let the pan sit in the cold water too long. Gradually add the egg mixture to the nut mixture until well combined.
Pour the now combined and scramble-free mixture over the crust and bake at 350 F for 30 minutes until it has the perfect Paul Hollywood wobble. If you let the edges get too dark, you’ll have a very sticky and chewy, but still delicious, structure. I prefer to serve this delight with any variety of ice cream but it’s fantastic all on it’s own.
Are you planning to try this recipe? If so, please send us pictures of your finished product so we can share them with our readers! Are there any other ingredients you’ve found in the parks that you want turned into recipes? Also, we would love to see your cooking or baking tips to recreate park food favorites. Happy baking!