I unabashedly flirted with fall for this post. And my next post, too. After a long summer full of berries and cream, fall is here and officially, so are the flavors. My kitchen counters have been gracefully cluttered with butternut squash, maple syrup, cinnamon, hot cocoa, nutmeg, pumpkin, cardamom, you name it. Let's just say that my kitchen is anything but serene or calm this time of the year. I guess it's a good thing, I like it that way. I have been busy procuring up menus for fall-time dinner parties, planningout a mega Thanksgiving dinner, arranging a trip to the local pumpkin patch, all the while experimenting with different recipes and attempting the perfect pumpkin pie. But, before we get to the pumpkin pie, I must address these maple pots de crème They are every bit innocent custard, yet dangerously seductive, addictive, and in my case almost impossible to eat only one. Thankfully, they are as easy to make as they are to eat. Smooth, cold pudding-like custard and crunchy praline unite to create a very rustic take on crème brûlée. An ingenious fall-time dessert.
MAPLE POTS DE CREME WITH ALMOND PRALINE
2 T sliced almonds (toasted)
3 T sugar
1 T water
1 t light corn syrup
pinch of kosher coarse salt
Pre-heat oven at 375. Scatter almonds on small baking sheet and bake until brown, about 3 minutes. Remove, push together into a 4 inch square and let cool. Stir sugar, 1 T water, corn syrup, and salt in a small saucepan over low heat until sugar dissolves; increase heat; boil without stirring until syrup is a dark amber color. Immediately pour caramel evenly over almonds, coating completely. Let stand for at least 30 minutes. Break praline into pieces when ready and sprinkle chunks among each pot.
Maple Pots De Creme:
1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 egg yolks
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Preheat the oven to 300. Place four ramekins in a baking pan.
Bring the cream, maple syrup and salt to a simmer in a medium saucepan over medium heat.
Whisk the egg yolks in a large bowl. Slowly add the cream mixture to the eggs, whisking constantly. Strain the mixture through a fine mesh sieve.
Divide the mixture among the ramekins. Fill the baking pan with hot water until it comes halfway up the ramekins.
Bake for 50-60 minutes. Take the ramekins out of the baking pan and cool at room temperature. Cover the ramekins with plastic wrap and refrigerate.