Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Cooking The Breakfast Book, Chapter 11: Maple Syrup Custard

The maple syrup version of Marion's basic custard is a winner. That said, I would never make this for breakfast. For dessert, yes. For breakfast, not so much.

I had actually intended to make a different recipe from this chapter {sorry Steamed Persimmon Pudding, another time...}, but after being very tempted by some fresh flan at our favorite taqueria, I resisted, came home and made this instead.

While I appreciate that this recipe's simplicity would make it appealing for breakfast, it was just too sweet for my morning taste buds. In fact, I might lean towards reducing the amount of maple syrup in this just a wee bit, so the eggy, custardy, goodness can really stand out.

Other excellent things about this basic custard recipe include that you can make it out of ingredients you are pretty much always bound to have on hand, and it undeniably begs for experimentation. Nutmeg, cardamom or vanilla all seem like obvious potential flavor additions. How about lavender? Or jasmine, or orange? Something savory like curry? I plan to experiment with custardizing this winter for sure. And oh! I bet an eggnog version would be phenomenal.

Maple Syrup Custard
Four servings
Adapted from from The Breakfast Book by Marion Cunningham  

1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup heavy cream, or 1 cup milk, or 1 cup half-and-half
4 eggs
Salt to taste
1/2 cup maple syrup

Preheat the oven to 375°. Fill a shallow baking dish large enough to hold all the ramekins halfway with hot water and place in the oven. Butter the 4 ramekins.

Beat the milk, cream, eggs, and salt together in a large bowl. Add the maple syrup and stir to mix.

Pour custard mixture into the ramekins and place them carefully in the water bath in the oven. Bake for 20 minutes, or until the custard is barely set. Remember it will firm up more as it cools, so don't overcook. 

Remove from the oven and serve hot or cold. 

For more goodness from the Custards and Puddings chapter, check out the posts from my Cook the Book pals: EmilyNatashaRachel and Claudie.


  1. have you ever tried chawanmushi? it's a japanese savory egg custard usually eaten as an appetizer. there's all sorts of things in it but mainly, shrimp, chicken, and shiitake. i've heard some people put a scallop and some soy beans too. there's also skill involved and it's one of those dishes that japanese people use as a measure of how good a cook you are by how well you can perfect this dish. anyway...

    1. No, but now I want to go try it!!! Sounds delish. Many moons ago when I wrote restaurant reviews, if I saw crème brûlée on the menu I'd order it and use it as my measuring stick of how good a restaurant/chef.