2016 is proving to be a great year for fans of maple syrup, according to the Ontario Maple Syrup producers’ blog. A recent post states, “In Ontario, the maple syrup processing season has shaped up to be a fantastic year for syrup quality and yield, with a full range of colour grades and flavour intensities.” This dessert needs no explanation, I’m sure. It’s an homage to not only the indigenous people who first discovered the liquid gold inside maple trees but also the hours of hard work that to this day go into each bottle of maple syrup. Enjoy!
- 2 1/2 cups (625 mL) heavy (35%) cream
- 1 teaspoon (5 mL) vanilla bean paste or 1 1/2 (7.5 mL) pure vanilla extract
- 4 egg yolks
- 2 eggs
- 2/3 cup (180 mL) maple syrup
- 4 tablespoons (60 mL) maple or brown sugar for brûlée topping
- Preheat the oven to 350F.
- In a glass measure or other microwave-safe vessel, heat cream and vanilla over medium heat in a microwave until steaming but not boiling. Alternatively, you can do this is a small pan on the stove, taking care to stir often and not let mixture come to a boil. Set aside to cool slightly and infuse cream with vanilla.
- In 4 cup glass measure or other large jug with a good pour spout, whisk together egg yolks, eggs and maple syrup. You can use a stick (immersion blender) if you have one.
- Pour the lukewarm cream into the egg mixture and whisk or blend again to combine thoroughly.
- Pour the mixture into eight small oven-safe ramekins.
- Put the filled ramekins in a large baking dish and carefully pour hot water into the baking dish to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins.
- Carefully transfer the filled baking dish into the preheated oven.
- Bake until the custard is just firming up but still slightly wobbly in the centre (you can test this by gently jiggling the baking pan) – about 30 minutes.
- Cool at room temperature for about 30 minutes then refrigerate.
- 15 minutes before serving time, remove the ramekins from the refrigerator.
- Just before serving, sprinkle the top of each ramekin with 1 1/2 teaspoons (7.5 mL) of granulated sugar.
- Use a kitchen torch to scorch the sugar on top then serve.