A Vermont friend once told me that grade B maple syrup – from the thicker, more concentrated sap that flows later in sugaring season—was harder to find because Vermonters hoard all the good stuff for themselves. I personally never saw a reason to use any other grade, until a trip to Vermont when I tasted each “subgrade,” from fancy to B at a sugar farm. I still love B, but where had fancy been all my life? Its flavor and body are so delicate, perfect for when you’re looking for just a hint of mapleness. Here, I used it over baked custard, infused with fresh ginger, cloves, and cinnamon, for a Vermont spin on a classic. - Midge —Midge
Test Kitchen Notes
Midge's Creme Vermont is supple and creamy, laced with subtle maple and ginger flavor. To make sure the molds turn out smoothly, chill them well and dip the ramekins in hot water to loosen the edges just before serving. - Merrill —The Editors
6; doubles easily
maple syrup, preferably fancy grade
inch knob of fresh ginger, peeled and sliced
freshly grated nutmeg
In This Recipe
Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
Place cream, ginger slices, cinnamon stick, and cloves in small saucepan over medium heat until it starts to steam. Turn off heat and let steep while you get on with the rest of the recipe.
Put a kettle of water on the stove to boil.
In bowl of mixer, beat the eggs and egg yolks with sugar and salt until pale yellow.
Strain the cream mixture to remove ginger, cloves and cinnamon and gradually add it to the egg mixture, stirring until its completely incorporated.
Place custard cups or ramekins into a baking pan. Pour maple syrup into the bottom of each cup, about 1/4-1/2 inch. Add custard mixture. Pour hot water around cups to reach about an inch from the top.
Bake at 300 until set, 45 minutes to an hour.
Let cool. Run a small sharp knife around the top of the cup to loosen and gently flip onto dessert plate. Serve warm with grating of fresh nutmeg. Or you could refrigerate for a day or two to serve cold or at room temp. Pour a little hot water on the bottom of dish to loosen.
I’m a journalist who’s covered everything from illegal logging in Central America to merit pay for teachers, but these days I write mostly about travel. I’ve been lucky enough to find myself in some far-flung locales, where poking around markets and grocery stores is my favorite thing to do. Cooking, especially baking, is my way of winding down after a long day; there’s nothing like kneading bread dough to bring you back to earth.