Lydia's Kitchen Blog

Crown Maple Syrup Lends Regal Flavor to Hearty Meals

It’s February, and even though this winter has been milder than most, it’s still cold. And when it’s cold, I enjoy preparing and eating hearty meals.

We used to call this “comfort food,” but to me the term connotes dishes that are heavy and perhaps even a bit on the unhealthful side. But I have some good news: it is possible to prepare relatively healthful hearty meals that are delicious.

One of my favorite winter meals is pork roast with dried-fruit compote with a side of stuffed sweet potatoes. Both of these recipes have wonderful flavors and are fairly easy to prepare. Because the pork roast is done with a slow cooker, I usually prepare it in the morning before I leave for the day and then voila – it’s ready when the family comes together for dinner.

I hope you’ll try and enjoy these recipes and share them with friends and loved ones. If you have a favorite recipe – hearty or not – that you make using Crown Maple Syrup, be sure to enter it in our monthly Crown Maple Recipe Contest. You could win a trio of Crown Maple Light Amber Syrup, Crown Maple Medium Amber Syrup, and Crown Maple Dark Amber Syrup. I’d also love to know how you use our different varieties of Crown Maple Syrup. Can you pick a favorite?

Stay warm!

Pork Roast with Dried-fruit Compote

Bone-in pork shoulder, about 3 pounds
Salt and freshly ground pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup chicken broth
¾ cup dry white wine
½ cup orange juice
¼ cup Crown Maple Sugar
1 sprig fresh rosemary
1 ½ cups pitted dried plums
1 ½ cups dried apricots

  1. Brown the pork. Season the pork shoulder on all sides with salt and pepper. In a large frying pan over medium-high heat, warm the oil. Add the pork and brown well on all sides, about 10 minutes total. Transfer the pork to the slow cooker. Pour off the excess fat from the frying pan and return the pan to high heat. Pour in the broth, wine, and orange juice and deglaze the pan, stirring to scrape up the browned bits on the pan bottom. Stir in the Crown Maple Sugar, bring the liquid to a boil, and pour the contents of the pan over the pork.
  2. Cook the pork. Add the rosemary sprig to the slow cooker. Scatter the plums and apricots around the sides of the meat. Cover and cook on the high-heat setting for 4 hours or the low-heat setting for 8 hours.
  3. Carve the pork. Remove and discard the rosemary sprig. Transfer the pork to a platter and spoon the fruit compote around the pork. Slice the pork across the grain, or, if the meat is too tender to slice neatly, use a pair of forks to tear it into large chunks. Serve with the compote alongside.

Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

4 medium sweet potatoes (about 2 ½ pounds)
¼ cup Crown Maple Medium Amber Syrup
¼ cup milk
1 tablespoon butter
¼ teaspoon salt
Pinch of cinnamon
Pinch of nutmeg
Pinch of ground cloves
Crown Maple Sugar, optional

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Prick the potatoes with a fork, once each, and bake on a baking sheet for 50 to 60 minutes, until the insides are soft. Remove from the oven and set aside until they are cool enough to handle.
  2. Halve the potatoes lengthwise, carefully scoop out the insides, and reserve the shells. Combine the insides in a large bowl with the Crown Maple Medium Amber  Syrup, milk, butter, salt, spices, and Crown Maple Sugar, if desired. Whip with an electric mixer until smooth. Pack the four best shells with the filling, mounding it in. Place close together in a pie plate or small casserole dish. Sprinkle the tops, if desired, with a touch of Crown Maple Sugar. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until heated through. Yields 4 servings.


An approximation is to use ¾ cup of syrup for every cup of granulated sugar and decrease the amount of liquid by 3 tablespoons to compensate for its liquid state.

Hi Gang,
Is there a ball-park rule of thumb for substituting Crown Maple Syrup for sugar in a recipe? How does said substitution affect the texture of cookies, breads, and cakes?
Thank You!

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Lydia Turner

In Lydia’s Kitchen, Turner family chef, mother and pure maple syrup fan Lydia Turner offers a wealth of ideas for using pure Crown Maple Syrup at home. Subscribe and enjoy as Lydia shares recipes, cooking tips and more from noted chefs, her family and the Crown Maple community.

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