Buckling up with a Maple Whisky Dessert

A recipe for an old fashioned peach buckle dessert infused with maple whisky, made with rye, and pure maple syrup.
By Asha Yoganandan

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Last month, I visited the province of Quebec in Canada that produces 83% of all maple syrup in the world. Even more impressive, is the dazzling array of products made from the sap of the maple tree. From the bottled sap to various grades of syrup, crystals of maple sugar, infused syrups and so on. And, then there is Maple Whiskey. Not surprisingly, I made a beeline to that!

Maple has richness in flavor that is absent in the cleaner refined sugars. Yet, it could be rather distracting so, if used heavy handed, similar to molasses or brown sugar. To use it in something like whiskey, which when good is rather delicate and elegant, can be either a stroke of genius or of catastrophe. Needless to say, I was intrigued and super thrilled to lay my hands on a bottle of TAP 357 Maple Rye Whisky. I tried it three ways – neat, in a cocktail and in baking.

In its neat form, it is very drinkable but a trifle too sweet for my tastes. On flavor and finish, the caramel notes make it lean closer to a rich rum, such as the Ron Centenario, than a bourbon, such as, Woodford Reserve. It also does not have the smokiness more apparent in American whiskeys. It was more a glass to finish the evening with, than one I would settle with for the evening.

Used in a cocktail, I must say it was resplendent. The TAP website offers a host of suggestions. I chose to test it in my favorite Old Fashioned and another more citrus concoction that I have no name for.  If you like your Old Fashioneds with a bit of kick, I suggest mainstream bourbons. But, I found that the maple added a subtle mellow and rounded note to the drink and where the brown sugar could easily be skipped on. As to the citrusier one, it was a definite win. Not unexpected as the acidity and caramel neatly balance each other. It makes me happy thinking of all the amazing summer concoctions that can be made! Long Island Iced Tea with Maple Rye anyone?

Maple Whisky, Maple Syrup Peach Buckle

Finally, came my most looked forward to experiment; How would this spirit hold up in baking? I am a huge fan of drunken desserts for the implicit ways the process highlights the flavors of the spirit, without the diversion of the alcohol. Whisky is so inherently Southern that it immediately brought to mind a Georgia peach pie!

Last Summer I had read a novel based in the suburbs of Georgia that painted a very pretty picture of Southern cooking, replete with preserving peaches by cooking and freezing. That particular element was so vividly imprinted in my mind, that I actually went out picked up some of the ripest from the market and proceeded to freeze them for Winter. Alas! Winter came and went and they still remained in the freezer.

Clearly, waiting for just the right moment. That was to be now. With the maple rye whisky. But, I really did not want a pie; there is that little spark of rebellion in me, always. I decided to make a Buckle instead. Still Southern but a bit more uncommon and therefore suited to my independent spirit; {pun intended!}. So, I generously pickled the peaches in the maple whisky. Then I made the buckle with base of the drunken peaches infused with fresh rosemary and mildly sweetened with maple syrup. Mild, because the peaches themselves were  really very sweet on their own. For the cake layer, I used the liquid from the thawed peaches to infuse more peachy flavor. I may have also added a dash of the whisky in the cake, all the better…!

Maple Rye Whisky infused Peach Gluten free buckle

Oh! The amazing fragrance that filled the apartment! Fresh from the oven, cooling on the rack, still too warm to hold with my hands, I could barely wait to take a photo before diving in with a big spoon. And, how marvelous it tasted!! As expected the alcohol had surrendered to the heat leaving behind the trail of real flavor. The peaches plumped in their own juice, further tease by the alcohol and rosemary infusion, made for a decadent plushness that literally silked down my throat. The cake on top, made with gluten free flour, was moist, light and nice chaser to the peaches.

I do think the whole preserving process made the peaches more malleable and stoked in flavor. The whisky worked splendidly in aging it even more. The maple flavor was not prominent but ran through the whole dessert as a ribbon of caramel teasing and stretching the fruit to yield its best.

I cannot wait for the peach season to  make this again with fresh peaches. And, with a nice dollop of lightly whipped fresh cream. Yes, I think I shall dream on that and a tall glass of maple and rye spiked iced tea!

Gluten Free Maple Rye Whisky Peach Buckle
 
Author:
Recipe Type: Dessert, Baking
Ingredients
For the fruit filling:
  • 2 cups, frozen peaches, thawed, juice reserved
  • 4 T maple rye whisky
  • 2 T maple syrup
  • 1-1/2 T chopped rosemary
  • 1 tsp sea salt
For the buckle topping:
  • ¾ cup gluten free flour
  • ¼ cup of the reserved peach juice from thawing fruit
  • 1 egg
  • 2 T pure maple syrup
  • 4 T unsalted butter, room temperature
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350F. In a baking pan, toss the fruit filling together and spread evenly. Let the fruit marinade 15 -30 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare the batter for the topping. Cream the butter and maple syrup until fluffy. Add the egg and beat to combine and add in the rest of the ingredients to create a loose batter. Let it sit until the peaches are ready; it will firm up in that time a little
  2. Spread the batter over the peaches and bake for 25 minutes until golden on top and springy to touch. Cool on rack for a few minutes and then scoop and serve with generous sides of whipped cream or ice cream.

 

Asha Yoganandan

Asha Yoganandan

Asha is the Founder and the Creative Strategist of INK, a digital marketing consultancy focused on food and leisure clients. A key social influencer, she has a reach of over 400K across digital platforms. She edits and publishes NOURISHED magazine, a seasonal and quarterly food magazine with international distribution. She writes an acclaimed blog, Fork Spoon Knife, on food and culinary travel related topics. She pens for and has been featured in The Daily Meal, Redbook Magazine, Spenser Magazine, Huffington Post, Good Food Jobs, Food 52, Mashable among others.

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