Grandma’s Quick & Easy 3-Ingredient Vermont Maple Fudge Recipe by Ann Marie Patitucci
Did you know it only takes three ingredients to make the most delicious maple fudge? And you may already have the ingredients in your pantry! As a kid growing up in upstate New York, my family visited Vermont every year, usually in the fall. We’d enjoy the foliage, have a picnic and do some shopping at the outlets in Manchester. One of my favorite things was getting maple candy; my siblings loved it, too (and we all still do). My parents, with their more sophisticated palates, preferred the maple fudge that seemed to be sold everywhere, in bakeries, in retail stores and by vendors, including the grandmas we’d see throughout our travels.
Now that I’m older, I, too, appreciate maple fudge (I still like the candy, but I can’t eat too much of it!). It always makes me think of my childhood days in Vermont with my family. Over time I’ve learned that since there are only three ingredients, it’s important that they are quality ingredients. For instance, real maple syrup has a different, distinctive flavor than artificial syrup. It’s delicious and unique and you can taste the difference; I highly recommend using it in this maple fudge recipe.
There are some ways to make this fudge your own, if you like. Some people like to add a splash of vanilla extract in with the other ingredients. Also, if you’d like classic Vermont maple fudge, you’ll want to include crushed walnuts. I preferred fudge without the walnuts when I was a kid, but now I can’t imagine fudge without them. So give the chocolate fudge a rest for a minute, and try this sweet treat from Vermont.
Prep Time: 15 minutes plus 3 hours to chill
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Chilling Time: 3 hours and 40 minutes
Servings: Makes about 36 pieces
- 2 1/4 cups maple syrup
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- splash of vanilla (optional)
- chopped walnuts (optional)
Here’s how to make it:
- Grease a loaf pan (including sides) with nonstick cooking spray. Line the pan with parchment paper. Leave some parchment paper hanging over both ends of the pan in order to remove the fudge more easily later.
- In a saucepan over medium heat, bring the maple syrup to a boil. As soon as it starts to boil, reduce heat to low and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 5 minutes.
- After 5 minutes of simmering, add the heavy cream, without stirring, then turn the heat back up to medium. Once it starts to boil again, turn the heat back down to low and bring it to a simmer. Let it simmer for about 20 minutes or until temperature reaches 236 degrees F on a candy thermometer. After 20 minutes, if the temperature hasn't reached 236 degrees, turn the heat up as much as needed to bring to a gentle boil.
- As soon as the temperature has reached 236 degrees F, immediately remove the pan from the heat and add the butter, without stirring. Let the mixture cool for 8 minutes. Then beat the mixture with an electric mixer until it becomes thick and starts to show signs of crystallization, about 5 minutes. Immediately transfer the mixture into loaf pan and evenly spread it across the bottom of the pan. Place the pan in the refrigerator to chill for at least 3 hours, until it completely sets.
- Remove pan from refrigerator. Using the parchment paper, lift the fudge out of the pan. Cut it into 36 square pieces using a sharp knife. Serve as-is or crumble and use as a topping for ice cream.
Inside scoop: Fudge tends to freeze well so you may want to freeze some for later snacking. However, it also keeps for a long time in the refrigerator so you don’t have to freeze it. Your choice! While artificial maple syrup doesn’t always need to be refrigerated, real maple syrup does, as mold can develop quickly if not kept cool.
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