Maple taffy or tire sur la neige (tire) is one of the most Canadian things in existence. Like: beavers, mounties, hockey and the maple leaf, eating maple taffy screams I AM CANADIAN.
Actually, it screams I AM IN QUEBEC. Or in the case of Calgarians I GO TO A FRENCH IMMERSION SCHOOL.
At the market the western Canadians that ask us about taffy/tire usually are children (or have children) in french immersion school, french immersion schools are some of the few places that can do a proper maple taffy in Alberta. Why? Because french immersion schools are about the only place in Alberta you are allowed to pour taffy on the snow. Fun fact, the health inspector HATES it when you pour edible food on snow. And not just because of the risk of dog pee, go figure.
While we cannot pour the syrup on snow we will occasionally make it for winter markets and Robert will slap some taffy onto chopsticks and hand them out. Want to see delighted people? Hand them a stick full of maple taffy.
Because Robert has developed arthritis in his hands that tradition is coming to an end, so I figured we will put the recipe up on the blog and then the myriads of taffy seeking disappointed people can learn to make it themselves.
2 cups of pure maple syrup. You can use medium or dark depending on your taste preference, a lot of people really like this done with dark syrup.
I say two cups depending on how much you want. When you make taffy it will lose 2/3 of it’s volume.
Popsicle sticks or wooden chopsticks
Candy thermometer – You don’t HAVE to use a candy thermometer but I HIGHLY recommend it. Like really really really recommend it. Especially for rookies.
Butter the rim of a tall pot. It doesn’t have to be butter it can be any kind of fat. Bacon Grease or lard etc. Robert swears that this will prevent the taffy foam from boiling over
Fill your pot no high than two-thirds of the way full to help prevent it from boiling over. (There’s a reason the Quebecois tend to do this over an open fire)
Stick in your candy thermometer.
Bring the syrup to a slow boil. So put it on a medium low heat. This whole process should take an hour to an hour and a half. SLOW BOIL
You are going to have the urge to stir it. Stop that urge. DO NOT STIR the taffy, it will make it sugary.
The syrup It will boil at 104 degrees for half an hour to an hour
DO NOT STIR If you stir you end up with sugar.
When the thermometer reads 112-115 it is perfect. If you boil it over 115 it will turn to sugar.
As Soon as it reaches that temperature, you pour it onto the snow in strips.
Use your popsicle sticks to roll up the taffy and then lick it up.
If you don’t have snow at your disposal, are adverse to pouring it onto snow or are wanting to save it from the occasional taffy snack.
Once the syrup reaches 112 to 115 cool it quickly.
Put the pot in an ice bath to cool it as quickly as you can.
If you want to freeze pour a little bit of water on top and freeze it the water will stop it from crystalizing.