Crown Royal Maple beverage that has recently hit the shelves in a less-iconic brown bag. When the package arrived I realized I was mistaken! I had three small bottles of high-quality maple syrup and a bag of maple sugar from Crown Maple based out of the Hudson Valley of New York. Really pure, certified organic, and well-acclaimed as a quality producer of maple syrup.
I grew up on the various commercial pancake syrups that are mostly corn syrup with either a token dash of real maple or the artificial Mapleine flavoring. However, at some point our family switched over to smaller quantities of real maple syrup, and I've never looked back. I don't mind paying more, and the flavor and texture is so much more rewarding.
The press release that came with these samples invited us to participate in a recipe contest, though with a twist. The dish would need to be savory in nature, eliminating most of the natural options for such a sweet ingredient.
1 thick loaf stale French bread
3 cups of milk
1/2 lb. brie
1/2 lb. ham
2 Bosc pears
The night before serving, carve up the stale loaf of bread into cubes. Why stale? In the tradition of pain perdu, stale bread soaks up the flavors better. Peel and dice the pears, cube the brie (removing the rind) and cut the ham into small strips. Whisk together the eggs and milk with a few grinds of black pepper and a dash of light maple syrup. Combine these ingredients and toss in a buttered 9"x13" Pyrex dish until the bread has soaked up a lot of the egg mixture. Don't be afraid to stir it after a few hours.
In the morning, mix a cup of chopped walnuts, two tablespoons of butter, two tablespoons of maple sugar, and a teaspoon of sea salt. Mix this into a crumble and top the casserole. Bake at 350°F for 30 minutes.
Note: These sugary delights were provided as samples for review.