Blog Archive

Monday, November 19, 2012

Charles Poirier Sugar Cane Syrup Maker




Charles Poirier's 

Pure Sugar Cane Syrup

I met Charles Porier last year when Roxanne Breaux gave Diane and I a bottle of his syrup as a gift.  He was only making the syrup for friends and family.  He had produced only about 36 - 12 oz. bottles last year with no intention of making any to sell.  I asked Diane to find out where he lived and how I could get in touch with him.  After tasting the syrup I called Charles to ask him to make more so that other people would have the chance to taste his light, pure and wonderful syrup.  I suggested to Charles that if he would grow enough sugar cane to produce 10 cases of syrup, I would purchase it all.  This is the reason for my blog, finding people that produce delicious Southern products and Charles is certainly one of them.

Now I am the one giving it to family and friends and hopefully you will see Poirier's syrup in stores one day.

 Charles tending his sugar cane patch


Charles is growing three varieties of sugar cane this year, an HOCP 000950 a POJ 290 (Product of Java) Purple Variety and the Ribbon or Stripped variety to find out which produce the best tasting
syrup. 
Charles Poirier and daughter Kelcia crushing  cane for  juice



Old 1800's Sugar Mill Charles found that was used to test the juice's  brix (sugar content)
This small mill was used when they received a load of cane to find out the sugar level before it was sent to the big mill for crushing.  

Crushing Sugar Cane to produce juice


Pure Sugar Cane Juice




 Pure Juice in cooking pot
Cooked for 6 to 7 hours slowly


Skimming impurities to keep the syrup light and clear.

Normally it takes about 125 stalks of cane to produce 15 gallons of juice like show above.  After slowly cooking the juice down for 6 to 7 hours the yield  is about 3 gallons of syrup. 

One of the treats of making homemade sugar cane syrup, an ice cold glass of the pure cane juice.

Finished Product

This is a two day process, the can is cut the evening before and the crushing starts at sun up.  The juice is cooked for about 6 to 7 hours to the consistency of maple syrup.  This syrup is light enough to be put on pancakes or biscuits.   

Charles is in the process of building a Sugar House for next year's production and hopes to produce enough to sell locally.  Everyone should have the chance to try home cooked syrup, cooked the old fashion way... Slowly. 

 I was so excited to see someone revive the process that most sugar cane farmers preformed on their farms in the 18th and 19th century.  Most of the sweets in the deep South were made with this syrup in those days and as a child I can remember tasting candy that was a result of cooking the syrup too long.  

There is a very fine commercial sugar cane syrup producer in South Louisiana and available in stores but to taste this light honey colored syrup is a real treat for me.

Below is the recipe for Syrup Cake or Gateau De Sirop made with Steen's cane syrup.  Charles' syrup could be substituted and would produce a little milder tasting cake.

GATEAU DE SIROP

Servings 10

(Syrup Cake) or Masse Pain (as it is often called) Steen's Recipe
Note: This cake contains no sugar


1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon ginger
1-1/2 Steen's cane syrup
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1 egg,beaten
1/2 teaspoon salt
2-1/2 cups sifted flour
1-1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 cup hot water


Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9-inch square pan a 13 ½ x 8 ½ inch pan or muffin pan(s).

Combine oil, syrup, and beaten egg. Stir until well blended. Mix and re-sift dry ingredients except soda. Add dry ingredients to the oil, syrup, and egg mixture alternately with the hot water in which the soda has been dissolved. Begin and end with flour mixture.




4 comments:

Anonymous said...

The recipe is not clear about the amount of syrup to be used. It says, 1-1/2 syrup. Cups, teaspoons, Tablespoons?
Very nice article about Mr. Charles Poirier. I look forward to tasting his syrup one day.

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Susan Lester said...

What a great post! I came across your blog while looking up more information on Charles Poirier after reading an article about him in the Feb 2014 issue of Southern Living magazine.

My husband is from NOLA, so I look forward to perusing your blog.