This was always a great time of year growing up in New York.
Packing up the car and escaping the big city, the blur of autumn colors, while driving upstate on the weekends, are some of my most vivid memories.
One particular trip to a Vermont maple farm is the inspiration for this recipe.
The literal translation of crème brulee is "burnt cream."
It describes a chilled, stirred custard that, just before serving, is sprinkled with sugar, then caramelized with a blow torch or under a broiler. The caramelized topping becomes brittle, creating a delicious flavor and textural contrast to the smooth creamy custard beneath.
Makes eight servings
3 3/4 cups of heavy cream
1 1/4 cups of pure maple syrup
10 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/2 cups of granulated sugar
To start, pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees. Then in a bowl, combine the cream, maple syrup and eggs. Whisk until they are smooth. Strain the mixture through a fine mesh sieve, then pour into eight 5-ounce ramekins.
Set the ramekins in a shallow roasting pan, fill the pan with warm water until the water comes half way up the ramekins and place them in the oven for about 45 minutes.
Carefully remove the pan from the oven and let the custards cool in the water to room temperature.
Once they have cooled, remove them, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 8 hours.
When ready to serve, pre- heat your broiler, or better yet, use a small propane torch. Remove the plastic wrap and sprinkle each custard with sugar. Place under the broiler for 45 seconds or until the sugar caramelizes or hold the torch over the sugar until it caramelizes.
Tips and techniques
Crème brulee can be made as many as three days in advance.
Once the sugar has caramelized, serve immediately.
A sure way to know if the custard is finished baking: it will be set around the edges, but a little shaky in the center of the ramekins.
Contact Chris Kennedy at Seasoned Catering at (561) 351-0221, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.