I recently discovered Bridget Jones’ Diary on Netflix and I immediately felt compelled to watch it despite the fact that I own it, and it has been sitting idly in my drawer for probably years. It was a fan favorite back in my college days, and my friend and I watched it to the point that it became that movie- the one we recited word for word, quoting it in normal-speak, and we often sent each other BJD related trinkets. In fact, I still have a card on my refrigerator emblazoned with a man in a reindeer jumper that Treacle sent me so long ago. Be still my heart. In any case, I found that all these years later, I can still quote the movie word for word and the same parts make me laugh, cry, cringe and sympathize with the unlikely hero. We share a few unfortunate traits- verbal diarrhea being one-and let’s just say I’m really glad there was no fireman’s pole on the Today Show. Anyway, it gives me good thoughts of my Mr. Darcy, still out there waiting for me.
That was random (#deepthoughts) and not really related to food (don’t worry, no plans to make blue string soup anytime soon), but do you know what else gives me good thoughts? Custard!
Have I talked about custard lately? I don’t think so. My love for custard runs deep, and I’ve often waxed poetic about how custard > ice cream > fro yo. While frozen custard does make my heart smile, baked, on the other end of the spectrum, does the job just the same.
Many, many years ago, my cousins and I ate and alcohol-drank the World Showcase, and we squeezed Canada into the dwindling minutes of the day. It had been a long but noble journey, and the maple crème brûlée that we ate there was just the absolute perfect reward for our hard work. What? Eating that much food is a feat of strength! Anyway, I still dream of its gloriousness. Flash forward a lot of years to this past weekend where Mom and I had France’s crème brûlée, equally glorious. So, as a nod to both of them, I’m recreating the maple version for my own table.
I’m changing up my original crème brûlée recipe by using my mom’s version of baked custard, topped with the glorious burnt sugar. I’ve done this recipe with both dairy and non-dairy and both come out splendidly. If you’re of the non-dairy persuasion, just use all cashew milk in place of the milk and cream. I did notice, however, less of a shelf life before it starts to get watery. So, mind that.
- 1 cup whole milk
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 4 eggs
- ¼ cup granulate sugar
- 2 TB maple syrup
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp maple extract
- 3 TB granulated sugar (for the brulee part, double if you like)
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- In a small saucepan, combine the milk and cream and scald to the point it’s just below boiling.
- Meanwhile, combine the eggs, ¼ cup sugar, syrup and extracts in a blender. Blend until frothy and well combined. When the milk is ready, SLOWLY pour this into the blender while it’s blending to avoid scrambling the eggs.
- Place the ramekins in a baking pan and carefully pour boiling water into the pan to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until the custards are set when gently shaken. Remove the custards from the water bath, cool to room temperature, and refrigerate until firm.
- To serve, spread about ½ TB of sugar evenly on the top of each ramekin and heat with a kitchen blowtorch until the sugar caramelizes evenly. Allow to sit at room temperature for a minute until the caramelized sugar hardens.
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