Thursday, March 12, 2009

Maple Crème Brûlée

Maple Crème BrûléeAs you may know, this week I'm focusing on maple syrup. I've made an appetizer and a main dish; now it's time for a dessert.

Last week, I asked the foodies on Twitter for some of their favorite recipes that use maple syrup. I received several links to recipes and have made some of them. This recipe for Maple Crème Brûlée was inspired by @mellowly. I dug through my pile of recipes that I want to try and found three recipes that I'd cut out from a variety of sources. This is a combination of the three.

Some interesting facts about maple syrup:

• Usually a maple tree is at least 30 years old and 12 inches in diameter before it is tapped.
• Tapping does no permanent damage and only 10 percent of the sap is collected each year. Many maple trees have been tapped for 150 or more years.
• Maple syrup accounts for 85% of the world's total supply (according to Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada).
• Depending on the size of the maple tree, it can have up to 4 taps.
• It isn't known why the sugar maple has sweeter sap with better flavor than other maples.
• Maple syrup contains a significant amount of the recommended daily allowance for potassium and calcium.
• Once the maple tree starts to bud, the sap becomes unsavory.

Giveaway
I'm giving away a 65 gram jar of Maple Sugar from Brien Fine Maple Products.

Maple SugarTo enter to win, all you need to do is comment on the blog posts this week that are about maple syrup. You can enter more than once. At the end of the week, I’ll randomly select a winner from all the comments that have been submitted on posts about maple syrup. I will email the winner (so make sure you leave your email in the comment).

Recipe

Serves 6

Ingredients for Maple Crème Brûlée
2 cups (500 mL) heavy whipping cream
½ cup (125 mL) maple syrup
2 large eggs
2 egg yolks
1 tablespoon (15 mL) pure vanilla extract
1 vanilla bean, scraped
¼ cup (50 mL) maple sugar or packed brown sugar

Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Line a baking pan with a double thickness of paper towels and put the ramekins in the pan. Fill a kettle with water and bring water to a boil.

In a heavy saucepan over medium heat, heat cream with syrup and scraped vanilla bean. Bring mixture to a boil. Remove immediately from the heat and let cool slightly.

In a bowl, whisk the eggs, egg yolks and vanilla until combined. Continue whisking and slowly drizzle in a bit of the hot cream mixture to temper, or warm, the eggs so they won't curdle. Keep whisking and slowly pour in the remaining cream mixture.

Skim any foam off the top of the mixture. Pour mixture into six 2/3-cup ramekins. Carefully place the baking pan into the oven. Then pour enough hot water from the kettle into the baking pan so that water comes halfway up the sides of the ramekins.

Bake for 35 minutes, or until the centers are firm but jiggle slightly. Remove ramekins from pan and let cool. Cover each ramekin with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 3 hours or longer.

To serve: Sprinkle sugar evenly over top of cooked and cooled custards. Using a torch, move the flame continuously over the surface of the ramekins until the sugar melts and becomes golden brown and bubbly. As it cools, it hardens.

Maple Crème BrûléeTasting Notes
The maple flavor is very subtle in this dessert. I might add a touch more just to make it more prominent. I tried using maple sugar to make the brûlée, but it burnt too quickly. Regular sugar worked better. I love cracking through the brûlée and tasting the crunchy sugar and smooth custard together.

Other Maple Syrup Desserts
• Under the High Chair: Pudding Chomeur
• A Spoonful of Sugar: Gleaming Maple Cheesecake

Other Crème Brûlée Desserts
• Dorie's Crème Brûlée
Pumpkin Crème Brûlée

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  • 30 comments:

    RecipeGirl said...

    Wow, does that look amazing! Creme brulee is an all time fave of mine. I never can seem to locate maple sugar!

    Maria said...

    Another great maple recipe!! What a great week:)

    The Veggie Queen said...

    I think that maple syrup and maple sugar and maple trees are something that we truly need to be grateful for -- how sweet and delicious they are.

    squirrelbread said...

    the perfect crack-able top! very nice.

    cheers,

    *heather*

    Elyse said...

    Yay for maple trivia!! These creme brulees are a perfectly sweet ending to such a wonderful maple series. They look absolutely delicious; you have me totally wanting a little ramekin of maple creme brulee right now!

    Natashya said...

    I love maple syrup and I love creme brulee!
    My fave maple syrup is the dark, woody kind. You can taste the tree. (In a good way!)

    pinkstripes said...

    Maple creme brulee sounds wonderful.

    Melanie said...

    I'm glad you wrote about this, because I wasn't able to find my maple creme brulee recipe and yours looks great!

    Have you seen "Amelie"? Whenever I crack the top of a creme brulee, it reminds me of that character saying it's one of her favourite things. It's one of my faves too :)

    Manggy said...

    Hmm, more maple flavor needed? How about serving it with a drizzle of maple syrup? ;) And I am mostly serious about it because I am nutso for maple syrup*. Looks deelicious!

    * Doesn't mean I particularly succeed at eating breakfast, though. Sigh

    Monica H said...

    That first picture looks so autumnal. I love creme brulee and this looks delicious.

    bellaguinness said...

    Oh, Shari, I have loved your maple week! It's interesting, I started craving maple recently, too and picked up a couple packages of those DARE cookies - the maple ones. We used to vacation at Lake of the Woods every summer and those sweet maple leaf shaped treats remind me of those days.

    Teanna said...

    Shari, you must be a wealth of culinary information! I love that you always include the history or a lesson about the dish/ingredients! The brulee looks beautiful!

    Siri said...

    This sounds fantastic- I have a recipe for wild blueberry and maple creme brulee that I've been meaning to try. Maybe that would be a little over the top...best to just start out with your recipe and then see if it needs any dressing up.

    The burnt top in your photo is beautiful!

    Veggie Wedgie said...

    I had the same problem when I tried to top a creme brulee with maple sugar...Looks great though!

    spike. said...

    yeah, I'm so excited for mapling season! Looks like a great dessert

    Melissa said...

    This looks great! Love all the maple themed recipes!

    Vicki said...

    Our little neighborhood French bistro makes scrumptious creme brulees. It's so much fun cracking the sugar with the back of a spoon! Thanks for explaining the ins and out. Seems less intimidating now and I've wanted to make my own forever.

    Allison Day said...

    Yum, I love creme brulee... I love maple syrup... I'll bet putting them both together results in a wonderful combination. :)

    Ari (Baking and Books) said...

    Great post! Not only does the Maple Crème Brûlée look delicious but I really enjoyed those maple tree facts. You know how I am when it comes to food factoids.

    Jude said...

    Maple syrup sounds like such a natural flavoring for creme brulee.
    Enjoyed reading about maple syrup trivia :)

    Grace said...

    boy-o, look at the crusty top. this looks so tasty, AND you got to play with fire. :)

    Ophelia said...

    you're trying to send me into a maple sugary coma, aren't you?

    Ophelia said...

    ah crackles. i forgot to put down my email address. can't win if you can't find me, right? ^_^

    herophelia@yahoo.com

    Stef said...

    I really can't think of much that sounds better than maple creme brule. I want!

    Not Another Omnivore said...

    I had to link to this...it's maple month!

    NAOmni

    Angela said...

    Mmm, that sounds and looks absolutely gorgeous, Shari!

    Easy Comfort Foods said...

    A maple creme brulee, that sounds like a very nice plan... I'll try that, thanks!

    Diane said...

    I love Maple anything! I swear if I didn't have anything to put it on I could drink it...yummers!

    Kevin said...

    Maple creme brulee is so good!

    Kelvin said...

    I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


    Joannah

    http://myscones.com/