Ever since I received that amazing gift of homemade maple syrup, I've been searching out new ways to showcase it in recipes. This one seemed intimidating, but was so easy!
I've ordered Pot de Creme at nice restaurants before and it always seems like special occasion food. Little did I know, it's about the simplest thing for the chefs to make! Pot de Creme (pronounced approximately like "poe-duh-krem") is French for "pot of cream" and it's basically just a cold creamy firm pudding.
Instead of flavoring my Pot de Creme with sugar or chocolate, I used that amazing maple syrup. I also didn't have any heavy cream on hand, so I crossed my fingers and just used whole milk. I was worried it wouldn't set properly, but it was perfectly light and airy. It would be a richer, more decadent dessert with heavy cream. This Maple Pot de Creme turned into a silky smooth, sweet, and perfect seasonal spring dessert.
If you really want to impress your friends with your French pastry skills, you can add a layer of sugar to the top and blow torch (or broil) it into a crispy hard sugar layer for a Creme Brulee (means "burnt cream"). I tried it this way too, but preferred the simplicity of the Pot de Creme.
Maple Syrup Pot de Creme, adapted from Closet Cooking
2 cups whole milk (or heavy cream, half-and-half, or any combination of those)
1/2 cup 100% pure maple syrup
2 egg yolks (save the whites to make a light egg white scramble)
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
In a medium saucepan, heat your milk and maple syrup to almost boiling, then remove from heat.
In a separate bowl, whisk together your eggs, egg yolks, and vanilla.
Add 1 ladle of hot milk to your eggs and whisk. Add another lade and whisk. Continue to add hot milk slowly and whisk to incorporate without scrambling your eggs. When all your milk has been mixed into your egg mixture, pour into 4 ramekins.
Put ramekins in a cake pan or other baking dish with sides. Pour water into pan to halfway up the outsides of the ramekins. This keeps the puddings moist and won't dry them out in the oven.
Bake 30-35 minutes until the pudding is firm, but still a little jiggly when shaken. Cool completely and refrigerate. Best when eaten cold.
To make into Creme Brulee, sprinkle top of cold pudding with a layer of sugar. Torch or broil for 60-90 seconds until sugar is melted and browned.
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