Remember way back when in September when I flew to Oklahoma to visit my sister and meet my very first nephew? Well that was awhile ago and so were these pots de creme. The trip included more than a mess of babies, diapers, crying and naps. We also managed to get a few new recipes in. And even though September in Oklahoma is still 99 degrees, Fall bug had hit me and the thought of the return of maple to my palate was positively enticing.
And so instead of filling my sister’s freezer full of practical, nutritious meals I chose to whip up these sweet little custards. Somewhere in between a creme brulee and a flan lay these little beauties with their sparkle shards of crunchy, burnt sugar. The custard and the shards together, a great pairing. But I’d be perfectly content to let the maple creaminess slide around on my tongue all on its own.
*Just a note that these are a gluten-free option. I always try to pick recipes that are naturally gluten-free when needed since I have no expertise in the area. I try to choose desserts that work for the dietary restrictions but don’t leave the rest of us wondering where the crust went to. These fit that bill for me.
Maple Pots de Creme with Almond Praline
Taken from Bon Appetit, October 2010
6 large egg yolks
1/3 cup maple sugar
2 tablespoons (packed) dark brown sugar
1/8 teaspoon imitation maple extract
Pinch of coarse kosher salt
1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons sliced almonds
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon water
1 teaspoon light corn syrup
Pinch of coarse kosher salt
Special equipment: 4 3/4-cup ramekins or custard cups
Preheat oven to 375°F. Scatter almonds on small rimmed baking sheet. Bake almonds until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Remove from oven. Push almonds together in 4-inch square on sheet and cool.
Stir sugar, 1 tablespoon water, corn syrup, and coarse salt in small heavy saucepan over low heat until sugar dissolves. Increase heat; boil without stirring until syrup is dark amber, occasionally swirling pan and brushing down sides with wet pastry brush, about 5 minutes. Immediately pour caramel evenly over almonds, coating completely. Let stand until cold and hard, about 30 minutes. Break praline into pieces or process to coarse crumbs. DO AHEAD:Can be made 4 days ahead. Store airtight at room temperature.
Preheat oven to 325°F.
Arrange four 3/4-cup ramekins or custard cups in 13 x 9 x 2-inch metal baking pan. Whisk yolks, both sugars, extract, and salt in medium bowl to blend. Gradually whisk in cream. Divide custard among ramekins. Pour enough hot water into baking pan to come halfway up sides of ramekins.
Bake custards until center is just set, about 35 minutes. Transfer to work surface; let stand 15 minutes. Chill uncovered until cold, at least 2 hours. Cover; chill overnight.
Sprinkle praline over custards.