I have a friend who does not just cook great food but also makes elaborate desserts. When I come over for dinner, she’d be spinning salad and making soup with one hand, and assembling an apple crisp with the other. I mean, the girl can whip up petits pots de creme in no time with her eyes closed! And she always tells me, ‘Oh, Yuliya, that’s so easy!’ Another favorite of hers is creme caramel, which I swear I’d never tasted before she made it (well, this really just tells you how generally uninterested I am in desserts…)
Anyhow, I was looking through my new Bon Appetit cookbook last weekend, and I stumbled upon this creme caramel recipe. It listed only a few very common ingredients, and it looked like it was fairly easy to make. Given that I have been practically obsessed with fall flavors lately, I jumped at the fact that it was a maple creme caramel recipe! So here it is: light, elaborate dessert that only looks like a lot of work but is truly very simple and easy to make!
Makes 4 servings
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
- 3 large eggs yolks
- 1 large egg
- 1 1/2 cup whipping cream
- 1/2 cup whole milk
For caramel: Preheat oven to 300 F. Lightly butter four 6-ounce souffle dishes or custard cups. Combine sugar and 1/2 cup water in heavy small saucepan. Stir over low heat until sugar dissolves. Increase heat and boil without stirring until syrup is deep amber color, occasionally brushing down sides of pan with wet pastry brush and swirling pan, about 10 minutes. Immediately pour caramel into prepared dishes. Using oven mitts, quickly rotate dishes to coat sides with caramel. Set aside.
For custard: Whisk maple syrup, egg yolks, and whole egg in medium bowl to blend. Combine cream and milk in heavy medium saucepan and bring just to boil. Gradually whisk hot cream mixture into yolk mixture. Divide custard among prepared dishes. Place dishes in 13x9x2-inch metal baking pan. Pour enough hot water into pan to reach halfway up sides of dishes. Cover baking pan with aluminum foil*.
Bake custards until set in center, about 55 minutes. Refrigerate custards uncovered until cold, at least 5 hours.
To serve, run small sharp knife around sides of dish to loosen custards; invert onto plates.
* The first time I made these, I forgot to cover the pan with foil and the custards turned out just fine. The second time I used the foil… the custards overcooked and had air bubbles in them. It is really your call whether to follow the directions of the original source but in the future I personally will not.