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Published on 19 March, 2012, by

Coombs Family Farms Maple Syrup sent me and the rest of the Virtual Potluck folks a sample of their wares. We got the choice of maple sugar or maple syrup. Since I have a household that adores real maple syrup — we chose the syrup.

My favorite is grade B, it’s darker, richer and more complex in its flavors. For some folks this can be off-putting (usually those that are used to the “fake” maple syrups brands made from corn syrup, which tends towards super sweet and sometimes faux buttery.) If you’re one of these people raised on Mrs. Butterworth, you may want to wade into REAL maple syrup territory with grade A — but most definitely, get yourself out of the fake corn syrup arena and into the real deal — the health benefits alone make this imperative but the flavor makes it all worth it.

Real maple syrup and especially, Grade B is all there is for me.

So passionate am I, that nothing else will suffice. If I’m out to breakfast and they don’t have REAL maple syrup (a rarity in Portland, thank goodness!) I will skip the pancakes, waffles or french toast and opt for eggs and bacon. Once you’ve eaten the real deal there just is NO going back.

And it’s not just for pancakes or breakfast items, real maple syrup, like the dark rich stuff Coombs Family Farms taps out, can be used in a variety of ways. It’s great in baked goods and in savouries. I have used it in marinades, meat glazes and salad dressings and even pasta sauce, all to wonderful effect and the best part is Coombs is organic.

Unbaked version

This time I decided to pair it with blueberries in one of my favorite and easiest cobbler recipes ever. I came up with it one day in a hurry to make a cobbler and not wanting to mess with the cake-yness of traditional cobbler. Some may call it a crisp– I still call it cobbler — but whatever you call it, it’s delicious and comforting. I love to use Trader Joe’s frozen Boreal blueberries — they’re these tiny little wild berries with a juicy burst of flavor and they, like the syrup, are dark, rich and packed with flavor!

I hope you enjoy it and don’t forget to check out all the yummy maple syrup recipes my cohorts have cooked up over on the host page at Thyme in Our Kitchen.

Hazelnut Maple-Berry Cobbler

FILLING

  • 1 16 oz bag of frozen (or fresh when in season) wild blueberries (or whatever berries are your favorite)
  • 3 Tbsp Coombs Family Farms grade B maple syrup
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp Arrowroot powder or gluten-free corn starch
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

TOPPING

  • 1/4 cup oats
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped hazelnuts or Bob’s Red Mill Hazelnut flour
  • 1/2 cup Bob’s Red Mill all purpose gluten-free flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup or 1 stick of unsalted butter

Preheat the oven to 375°

Lightly butter a 8-9-inch pie plate or cast iron skillet

Thaw berries, then place in a saucepan (or use your small cast iron skillet for double duty and easy clean-up) with syrup allowing the berries to often and release their juice, about 5 minutes. Once warmed, add cinnamon and arrowroot powder sprinkling lightly and stirring to incorporate a little bit at a time. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside.

In a food processor mix hazelnuts, oats and flour with butter and salt. If you have hazelnut and oat flour you can use these along with flour and salt, just cutting the cold butter in, like biscuit dough. When your done the effect should be a mealy butter clumped dough that can only be plopped and spread by hand, on top of the warm berry mixture.

If using a pie plate, pour the berry mixture into your waiting pie pan. If using the iron skillet, just put the nutty butter crumb mixture on top.

Bake 25 minutes or until golden and bubbly. Let it cool at least 5 minutes before serving as syrup berries are extremely hot. This will also allow the filling to set a bit more. Then scoop into a dish and serve with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.

Makes 4 to 6 servings

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