Maple Crema

"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."
photo by a user photo by a user
Ready In:
5hrs 30mins




  • 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.

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<p>I have always loved to cook. When I was little, I cooked with my Grandmother who had endless patience and extraordinary skill as a baker. And I cooked with my Mother, who had a set repertoire, but taught me many basics. Then I spent a summer with a French cousin who opened up a whole new world of cooking. And I grew up in New York City, which meant that I was surrounded by all varieties of wonderful food, from great bagels and white fish to all the wonders of Chinatown and Little Italy, from German to Spanish to Mexican to Puerto Rican to Cuban, not to mention Cuban-Chinese. And my parents loved good food, so I grew up eating things like roasted peppers, anchovies, cheeses, charcuterie, as well as burgers and the like. In my own cooking I try to use organics as much as possible; I never use canned soup or cake mix and, other than a cheese steak if I'm in Philly or pizza by the slice in New York, I don't eat fast food. So, while I think I eat and cook just about everything, I do have friends who think I'm picky--just because the only thing I've ever had from McDonald's is a diet Coke (and maybe a frie or two). I have collected literally hundreds of recipes, clipped from the Times or magazines, copied down from friends, cajoled out of restaurant chefs. Little by little, I am pulling out the ones I've made and loved and posting them here. Maybe someday, every drawer in my apartment won't crammed with recipes. (Of course, I'll always have those shelves crammed with cookbooks.) I'm still amazed and delighted by the friendliness and the incredible knowledge of the people here. 'Zaar has been a wonderful discovery for me.</p>
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