Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Black Walnut and Maple Syrup

I thought I might never get this post written. Spring is such a busy time for us that it's hard to get it all done, yet alone write about it. But sharing with all of you is very important to me and I promised many of you that when we finally boiled down the Black Walnut sap I would let you all know how it went. 

This year we used a new system with our sap collection.

Instead of using spiles and emptying collection buckets (sometimes three times a day)

we drilled a hole in the tree slightly smaller than this clear plastic tubing.

We ran the tubing down into a five gallon bucket with a hole drilled into the lid.

This method sealed off the entire system from outside waste.

It also made it much easier to collect the sap with the larger containers. 

We had our last sap boil a couple of weekends ago. This year we broke it into two boils.

We had to postpone the last boil because of work conflicts and the weather not cooperating.

Before we could get the sap boiled, the temperatures started warming up.

The trees stopped flowing and we had 40 gallons of sap to keep fresh until the weekend.

Thank goodness we have an upright freezer! We took the bottom shelf out and stored two buckets at a time in the bottom.

We let them freeze, then alternated buckets.

I also floated frozen water bottles in the sap to keep it cool.

We didn't get very much walnut sap at all...maybe 3/4 of a gallon. But we boiled it down and it is very good.

The flavor is somewhat nutty and maybe a hint of caramel.

It reminded me of a Pecan syrup I had at a waffle house a few years ago. In the end, we didn't even get a full 8 oz, but it was a fun experiment to try.

The rest of the boils went really well and we got over 3 1/2 gallons of syrup.  


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