Call me Canadian, eh?, but I love maple syrup.
It’s funny, because I didn’t always. Growing up, we didn’t have tons of money, and we had a lot of kids. So it was always Aunt Jemima (or her no-name-brand equivalent) on the table. But it later years, I’ve discovered I really love the taste of real maple syrup. There’s a quality to it that no fake maple flavouring can properly reproduce: something tangy and not cloyingly sweet, which, I think, is why I like it so much. I also buy it at Costco, now, which makes a big difference. It’s $12 for a jug there, which lasts me about 6 months.
I’ve been having lots of fun lately, cooking from a new cookbook called Baking with Less Sugar: Recipes for Desserts Using Natural Sweeteners and Little-to-No White Sugar. You’ll recall a couple weeks back, I made a cake from there with zero sugar, sweetened with squash and dates.
Well, I simply cannot resist anything with “creme” in the title. Creme Brulee, Creme Caramel, Pots de Creme, and Panna Cotta. Love them. So, when I saw that there was a recipe for a maple syrup sweetened Creme Caramel, I was in!
This recipe was pleasantly simple to make. To make the caramel, you just boil down the maple syrup until it’s a thicker, more syrupy consistency. The creme part is also sweetened with maple syrup, so there’s no added sugar in this recipe at all. This would make an elegant and delicious (make ahead) conclusion to your next dinner party.
Maple Creme Caramel
(recipe from Baking with Less Sugar: Recipes for Desserts Using Natural Sweeteners and Little-to-No White Sugar by Joanne Chang)
- 3/4 cup maple syrup
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 2 eggs plus one egg yolk
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- Place 1/2 cup of the maple syrup in a small saucepan, and bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce the heat, and allow the maple syrup to simmer and reduced by half.
- Place 4 ramekins in a square cake pan, and and pour a little of the reduced maple syrup in the bottom of each one, about a tablespoon.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the remaining 1/4 cup maple syrup and all the rest of the ingredients until well combined. Divide this custard mixture equally between all the ramekins.
- Place the pan with the ramekins into a pre-heated, 350 degree oven. Pour boiling water into the pan around the ramekins, until it reaches about 2/3 of the way up their sides. Bake for about 40 minutes, or until the custards acheive a jiggly consistency. Remove from oven, pour off the hot water, and place them in the fridge to cool overnight (cover with saran wrap).
- To serve, run a knife around the edge of the creme caramel. Place a plate on top of the ramekin, then flip it over so the pudding falls onto the plate. The caramel will make an amazing sauce for your pudding.