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Maple Pots de Creme

October 7, 2008

CIA Bootcamp, for me, was a bookend of sorts to my summer: when I left at the beginning of the week, summer was still lingering, with warm days and not much in the way of colored leaves yet. BUT: when I came back, it was like autumn had been kick-started! In just one week! Wheeee! I couldn’t be more thrilled, to tell you the truth. Autumn is hands-down my favorite season. There’s so much to love — crisp, cool air tinged with the sweet and pungent notes of fallen leaves, the heart-achingly beautiful, glorious fire reds, flame oranges, and sunny yellows of the maples, oaks, and beeches around us, throwing on a cozy sweater, sipping mugs of apple cider, carving pumpkins, the arrival of cute and fun-shaped gourds, and of course, the flavors of fall. Apple, maple, pumpkin, squash, and cinnamon dreams float through my head, and desserts inspired by the season start filling up my kitchen! In my opinion, fall is probably the best season of all for making desserts — there’s just so many homey, warm flavors to use. In my mind, fall desserts are like an embodiment of love.

The inaugural autumn dessert in my kitchen came immediately when I returned from the CIA — I had spotted some maple pots de creme in the Apple Pie Bakery while I was there, and I couldn’t stop thinking about them on my 4 hour drive home. I love pots de creme. They’re so simple to make, so lusciously smooth and delicious, and can be elegant or homey. My reigning favorite kind is a chocolate espresso pot de creme, but the idea of using maple as a flavoring just seemed perfect for the start of autumn.

You could serve these plain-jane, as is, by themselves, or dress them up a bit: I served mine with some maple-and-cinnamon-roasted apple slices, and some chopped toasted hazelnuts. The maple flavor comes through (especially if you use Grade B/Dark Amber syrup, which I love using in desserts), but also marries quite nicely with all the dairy goodness of the cream and eggs. A crisp autumn evening spent curled up under a blanket, sipping a mug of hot mulled cider and spooning from your maple pot de creme would be, I think, quite a perfect night – don’t you?

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Maple Pots de Creme

an Eggs on Sunday original

View printable recipe

Ingredients
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup maple syrup (Grade B/Dark Amber for best flavor)
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 egg yolks
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Directions

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Place four 3/4-cup ramekins in a metal baking pan (I use an 8×8 pan) and set aside.

In a medium saucepan, bring the cream, maple syrup, and salt to a simmer over medium high heat. While the cream mixture is heating, whisk together the egg yolks and vanilla in a large bowl.

Once the cream comes to a simmer, temper the egg yolks by slowly adding the hot cream mixture, little by little, into the egg yolk mixture and whisking constantly. Once all the cream mixture has been incorporated, strain it through a fine-mesh sieve either back into the pot that  you heated the cream in, or into a glass liquid measuring cup.

Divide the mixture among the four ramekins. You’ll bake them in a hot water bath, so pour enough very hot tap water into the baking dish so that it comes halfway up the sides of the ramekins.

Bake in the oven for about 50-60 minutes, or until the pots de creme are set around the edges but still slightly jiggly in the middle. Once they reach this point, remove them from the oven and take the ramekins out of the hot water bath. Let them cool at room temperature (they will continue to set as they do so.)

Makes 4.

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16 Comments leave one →
  1. October 7, 2008 5:34 pm

    I am checking out the colorful tree outside my window now all I need is one of those maple pots de creme!! I wish I could place an order!
    Beautiful post and great pics – thanks for sharing!

  2. October 7, 2008 5:41 pm

    Lovely autumn post, with gorgeous pictures! The dish sounds delicious and the garnish is so pretty!

  3. October 7, 2008 6:13 pm

    I just discovered how easy it is to make pots de creme. These look so nice! I love your description of the fall we never have here since it is 94 degrees today! I really enjoyed your series on your CIA experience. I feel like I learned almost as much as you :)

  4. October 7, 2008 11:53 pm

    No. Way. Those look so good, I need to pick my jaw up off the table. My mother-in-law is coming to see me in three weeks (this is a good thing, btw), and I can’t wait to serve these to her!

    I just love your blog. So much great food inspiration.

    By the way, I’ve really enjoyed reading about your CIA week. What a treat! (I’m trying not to be too horribly jealous ;-)

  5. October 8, 2008 6:28 am

    Autumn is my favorite time of year as well and I can’t wait to start making apple and pumpkin treats aplenty!

  6. October 8, 2008 8:37 am

    What a beautiful recipe! I’m with you, fall the definitely the best season, although it would be better if it weren’t such a harbinger of winter. I love pure, real maple syrup, and I’m lucky to have access to some really great stuff here. Your pots de creme looks scrumptious!

  7. October 8, 2008 9:14 am

    These look great! Happy, happy Fall! I’ll have to try these SOON!

  8. October 8, 2008 10:14 am

    that looks divine! although at first i *almost* thought those apple slices were little pieces of bacon. weird, i know. or pears, i bet those would pair (ha) well!

  9. October 8, 2008 5:43 pm

    Ooh, I love recipes with only a few basic ingredients—perhaps I will try these out tonight! Thanks for sharing.

  10. missbliss421 permalink
    October 8, 2008 9:20 pm

    your CIA week was super inspirational and these look delicious! i love that you think fall desserts are an embodiment of love…i couldn’t agree more.

    take care, and thanks for sharing!

    xo
    a

  11. October 9, 2008 10:00 am

    That looks like a perfect fall dessert! And sounds like you had a great week at the CIA, a valuable experience for sure.

  12. October 10, 2008 7:35 am

    I love Fall too! It is so wonderful to see the leaves changing colors and the crisp, cool temperatures are SO much better for baking! :) Those maple pots de crème look luscious, a perfect seasonal dessert.

  13. October 13, 2008 1:33 pm

    I made these this weekend… I couldn’t resist and oh my goodness, YUM. I changed the recipe just a teeny bit… I didn’t have maple syrup, so I used elderberry instead, and used 4 smallish yolks instead of 3, because I wanted to use 2 whole cups of cream instead of having 1/2 cup left over (cream lasts a while at my house), and increased all the other ingredients by just a touch to make up for the extra cream. It turned out well and got rave reviews though! DH especially liked them, but would also like to see what I can do with putting fruit in the bottom – like berries or apples (mmm, maybe a cinnamon/nutmeg pumpkin puree?). That will be my next experiment…

  14. October 13, 2008 5:49 pm

    sue bette – you must be reveling in the gorgeous VT foliage! :)

    Lynne – thanks!

    Esi – so glad you enjoyed the posts! I love how easy pots de creme are as well, and, I usually have all the ingredients in the house!

    Alison – I hope you enjoyed these if you made them! And so glad to hear you liked the posts about my CIA experience. :)

    Holly – it’s a wonderful time of year, isn’t it?

    Andrea – I still can’t get over that some people use “pancake syrup” instead of the real good stuff…there’s just nothing that compares to really good, dark amber pure maple syrup!

    Christina – thanks, and happy fall to you as well!

    ttfn300 – pears would go nicely, and actually, I bet bacon wouldn’t be too bad. Maple and bacon do seem to go well together.. ;)

    lkrier – enjoy!

    missbliss421 – oh, I’m so happy you enjoyed them. :) Thanks!

    brilynn – it was an awesome time, I have to say. :) I kind of miss it!

    LyB – oh, I agree; it’s so much easier to turn the oven on when the air is crisp and cool outside, isn’t it??

    dakota – I’m glad you tried these and enjoyed them!!

  15. October 25, 2008 5:12 am

    “Apple, maple, pumpkin, squash, and cinnamon dreams float through my head, and desserts inspired by the season start filling up my kitchen!” What a great evocation of fall – you inspired me to head back into the kitchen and start working with these flavors.

  16. October 1, 2010 2:02 am

    I made these for a dinner party and OH MY GOODNESS. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

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