While typically associated with fall, quality maple syrup is available year round, and it’s subtle woody notes provide the perfect contrast to sharp, sweet summer berries. Used to flavor a decadent creamy custard smothered with coveted short season blackberries, it creates a memorable end note to an al fresco meal.
3 egg yolks
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon dark rum
2 cups heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 pint blackberries
1/4 cup turbinado sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 300°F. Bring a kettle of water to a boil.
In a bowl, whisk together the eggs, yolks, maple syrup, vanilla, and rum until slightly foamy. In a medium saucepan, bring heavy cream to a bare simmer, then slowly pour into egg mixture while whisking constantly.
Divide custard between six 6oz ramekins, and place in a roasting pan. Set on the middle rack of the oven, then pour hot water into the pan until it comes halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Bake until set but still slightly jiggly in the center, about 45 minutes. Allow to cool for 15 minutes in the water bath, then place in refrigerator to chill until ready to serve.
Toss blueberries with sugar and salt in a bowl and allow to sit for at least 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Divide evenly between the maple custards and serve.
Allison Robicelli is a James Beard-nominated writer, cookbook author, humorist, chef/owner of the highly-acclaimed Robicelli’s Bakery, occasional TV personality, raconteur, wife, mother, and all-around good time.