Prep 30 mins
Cook 5 hrs
This lovely custard dessert is an elegant end to a dinner party -- and a down-east kind of comfort food/dessert. The creation of Gina DePalma of Babbo, the crema works best with really good ingredients: organic heavy cream, fresh farm eggs, pure maple syrup. The instructions are long--but it's quite a simple recipe really, and most of the prep time is chilling time.
- 2 cups pure maple syrup
- 2 cups heavy cream (NOT ultra-pasteurized)
- 1⁄2 cup whole milk
- 6 large egg yolks
- 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
- 1 pinch kosher salt
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
- Put syrup in 4-quart saucepan and bring to a boil. (Use a large saucepan, syrup will bubble up quite high.)
- Lower heat to simmer and cook until reduced by about two thirds, 15 to 20 minutes (syrup is ready when a few drops on a chilled plate are very sticky when rubbed with your fingers).
- Remove from heat and whisk in cream and milk.
- Return saucepan to heat and bring to low simmer.
- Meanwhile whisk yolks well with sugar and salt in large bowl.
- Remove maple cream from heat and let it cool for 5 minutes, then very slowly whisk it into the yolks.
- Strain through a chinois or fine-meshed sieve to remove any lumps of yolk.
- Arrange 8 4-ounce ramekins or custard cups in a flat-bottomed roasting pan large enough to accommodate them with 3/4 inch of space in between the cups.
- Evenly divide the custard among the cups; do not fill to the top.
- Carefully add enough hot tap water to roasting pan to come a third of the way up sides of cups.
- Cover roasting pan with foil, tenting it slightly so that foil does not touch top of custards.
- Put pan on middle rack of oven and bake for 35 minutes; rotate pan, then bake another 15 minutes and check for doneness.
- The custards are done when the centers are set a bit, even jiggly like gelatin.
- Total baking time will be 50 to 60 minutes.
- Remove pan from oven, remove foil, and let custards cool in water bath until you can safely pick them up, then let them cool to room temperature.
- Refrigerate at least 4 hours, until thoroughly chilled.