How many times have you sat down at a restaurant and immediately flipped through the menu to check out the desserts?
Your friends might think you’ve got a screw loose, but hey – you’ve gotta see how tempting the desserts are and decide whether you should “save room.”
There’s one dessert that I always save room for, no matter how delicious the food is.
I’m talking about creme brulee.
If it’s on the menu, I order it. Period.
Luckily it’s really easy to make at home, and since it’s full of healthy egg yolks and cream, it doesn’t give me the typical sugar high that I get from other desserts.
But today I’m not sharing a recipe for creme brulee. Rather, I’m featuring a dessert very similar to creme brulee called pots de creme that happen to take way less skill and taste just as amazing.
Pots de creme are like the bottom of creme brulee – delicious little baked custards minus the burnt sugar crust. These “pots of cream” or “pots of custard” originate from France (no surprise there, right?!)
My recipe for Maple Pots de Creme features 5 (optionally 6) ingredients and is sweetened entirely with maple syrup.
You can even make them dairy-free by subbing full-fat coconut milk for the cream!
I find these so satisfying that I usually split one with my husband and savor every. single. melt-in-your-mouth bite. (Of course, that requires I draw a line down the middle so he doesn’t steal from my side!)
- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream (ideally organic, grass-fed. May substitute full-fat coconut milk for a dairy-free version)
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 4 egg yolks (ideally from pasture-raised hens)*
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon maple extract (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Place 4 ramekins in a rimmed baking dish, such as a brownie pan.
- Combine the cream, maple syrup, and salt in a small saucepan. Heat until it comes to a simmer. Turn off heat.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and vanilla extract (and, if using, the maple extract).
- Temper the egg yolks - Using a small ladle, add some hot cream to the egg yolks a few tablespoons at a time (this prevents the egg yolks from scrambling). Once you’ve added ~1 cup of cream, pour the rest of the cream into the bowl and whisk to combine.
- Strain the mixture through a fine sieve.
- Using a ladle, pour the mixture into ramekins (8oz wide mouth Mason jars work well if you don’t have ramekins).
- Carefully pour enough hot water into the rimmed baking dish to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins.
- Bake until the edges are set but the center jiggles slightly, 45-50 minutes.
- Remove the ramekins from the water bath and cool to room temperature.
- You can either eat at room temperature or refrigerate until cold. (I prefer them cold.)
*Save the egg whites for use in other recipes, such as frittatas, scrambles, or coconut macaroons
NOTE: For the fellow creme brulee junkies - you can easily brulee these. All you have to do is add the sugar layer, use a blow torch (or crank up your oven to broil) to evenly caramelize the sugar and wait a wee bit longer to dig in!
I think I’ll stick with the pots de creme and save the fire danger for another day.
I think these little heart-shaped ramekins are perfect for Valentine’s Day (or just a date night), don’t you?
Now I’d love to here from you in the comments below!
Have you ever made pots de creme or creme brulee before?
If so, how’d it turn out?
Until next week,