IF you are a Vermonter you probably have maple on the mind. You drive anywhere outside of the city and you start see all tubes and lines running through the woods attached to all the trees. And spring. The weather plays a huge part in sugaring so when the weather is right, people be talking. It's maple sugaring time around here so of course I am thinking maple thoughts. It is kind of hard not to.
The first thing that goes through my mind when I think about maple is that I think I want a small sugarbush on our land (the land we have yet to find and buy) We already know that we are going to have an apiary (bees and honey) so why not do maple too? The would keep us busy all summer through spring with sweet things. Summers with the bees then trudging through the cold waist high snow tapping trees and hanging out in a sugar house in the woods.. I think that it should be part of my life. Plus think about the possibilities of a name for a honey/maple farm. Let your mind take you there.
Second thing I think about when I think about maple is how to eat it. Most people jump right to pancakes, maple on snow, or lattes. But then what? Not going lie, I do not have a sweet tooth, like at all. I do't eat pancakes covered in maple. I don't drink lattes, and the maple on snow thing got old in 5th grade.
But I do like popcorn.
Maple popcorn. Sounds good right? But maybe a little too sweet so add in a savory component to balance the sweetness out, and that is where the cumin comes in. Maple is earthy and sweet, and a tad bit smokey. Cumin is earthy and savory, and smokey as well.. The two together create a fantastical flavor combonation that is smokey sweet and savory and all so freaking good. Added to popcorn, well it's right in all the ways that we need it to be.
Now if the mr and I could just decide on a movie that we can both watch together... Probably just end up watching the Office instead. And we will each have our own bowls of popcorn.
The stuff. Air popped popcorn, maple syrup, ground cumin, vegan butter, and salt.
Butter and cumin go into a pot to melt and activate the flavor of the cumin.
Once the butter is melted and the cumin is fragrant, the maple joins the pot party. Keep the pot on low and stir continuously for about 5 minutes until the syrup get a tiny bit thicker.
Maple cumin syrup ready to go.
Dump the popcorn on a large rimmed baking sheet. Grab the syrup and drizzle it all all over the popcorn. Toss it around, sprinkle with a a little salt and then pop it into the warm oven for 5-7 minutes to keep the popcorn from being soggy.
And then it's done. Dump it into a big bow and get ready to eat.
Sweet and smokey all in your mouth. This popcorn is sure to please.
Maple Cumin Popcorn
makes about 8 cups popcorn
- 8-9 cups air popped popcorn
- 1 tablespoon vegan butter
- 1/3 cup real maple syrup (preferably from VT)
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- salt to taste
Preheat oven to 250.
Grab a large rimmed baking sheet and dump popcorn onto it.
Place cumin and butter in a small pot and place on low heat. Stir until butter is melted and you can start to smell the cumin. Add in the maple and continuously stir for about 5 minutes until it start to slightly thicken. Immediately drizzle the syrup all over the popcorn, toss it around, sprinkle with a little salt and then pop it into the oven for about 5-7 minutes to prevent the popcorn from becoming soggy.
Remove and let cool a minutes then dump popcorn into a big bowl. Grab a movie (because you know that is what you are doing) and get to the popcorn.
Extra popcorn (but there will not be any) will last for a few days in a airtight container)