Pure Vermont goodness, local eggs, local cream and Vermont maple syrup
Springtime in Vermont. Maple sap is boiling and swimsuit season is still 3 months away. Let's celebrate with a little custard and burnt sugar. Work it off later. Maybe running from the cardioligist is a good start.
I tried to keep this reasonable on the health index by using a nice tight portion. (Tight is restaurant code for small) Only a little over 1/2 a cup for each serving. Better to leave you wanting a little more than pushing away too big a portion.
You can use any oven proof cup you want and you can make them as big as you want. My wife's antique teacups looked perfect to me. To her not so much. Wide ramekins, small jelly jars all would work. Just adjust the cooking time. Use good judgement.
You also get to use a blowtorch to burn the sugar. Fire!
You will need 6 ramekins, fine mesh strainers, stainless steel bowl, whisk, measuring cup and ladle
Set oven to 425 degrees, that's right 425 degrees
- 1 pint excellent quality heavy cream
- 1/2 cup dark maple syrup, Vermont makes it best
- 4 egg yolks
- 1 whole egg
- pinch of sea salt
Heat the heavy cream, maple and pinch of salt to the boiling point.
In the steel bowl mix the egg and yolks together, careful not to make them foamy.
Slowly add the hot cream mixture to the eggs (tempering). Careful not to add the cream to fast or it will cook the eggs.
Pass the mixture thru the fine mesh strainer. I strain it into a pitcher that's easy to pour out of.
Fill your containers.
Put in a roasting pan and fill halfway up the side with water.
Into the hot oven for 10 minutes then turn oven down to 275 and cook for an addtional 40 minutes or until custard is set and a toothpick comes out clean.
Let cool for 3 hours. These can be made as much as three days ahead of time
notice it is still bubbling on the right even though the blowtorch is off
Let's make that nice crisp thin caramel top that makes the perfect counterpoint to the creamy texture of the custard. You can use a fancy little blowtorch from your local kitchen store or you can use the blowtorch you got from the hardware store. Both will do the trick. Caramelized sugar is in excess of 330 degrees. Sugar burns in a commercial kitchen almost always end up with a visit to a healthcare professional. Need i tell you to br careful. My wife pointed out that I had our son do this when was only 8. To be fair he was being supervised by our friends 10 year old niece. Combined age 18. No problem
Step 1. Put a nice thin layer of sugar over the custard, it's OK to use your finger to spread it out even
Step 2. Using your torch slowly melt the sugar, the flame will be in contact with the sugar. Keep the flame moving in small circles. When the sugar is brown ( it will go from clear to brown to black if you're not careful) pull back and let it continue to brown on it's own. Let it cool for a few minutes before serving.