Maple-Lemon Crème Brulée With Amaretti Cookie

Photos by Kevin Schuder

This recipe was created exclusively for TreeHugger by Kevin Schuder, Executive Chef at Yield Wine Bar, to pair with a bottle of Bodega Bay 'Portworks' Admiral's Reserve Red Port from our featured green wine maker, Kaz Vineyard & Winery.

"There are so many layers of flavor, I feel like I could drink this every night for the rest of my life and still find new ways to appreciate it. Caramel, candy-cap mushrooms, grilled pears, fenugreek, maple-syrup, and butterscotch... all these wonderful aromas step out of the background. I like ports to be not too sweet, and this one struck a good balance," notes Kevin. "The crème brulée was Jerry's idea, and we decided maple syrup with a hint of lemon would be a good accent. The amaretti cookie I included in order to use up some of the egg whites, which is always a challenge with baking."

Photos by Kevin Schuder

Crème Brulée

  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 vanilla bean, or 2 t. vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup dark sugar,
  • Zest of 1 meyer lemon, plus 2 T. juice
  • 5 large egg yolks, beaten
  • Granulated sugar for topping

Equipment

  • 6 6 oz. ramekins or creme brulee dishes
  • Fine strainer
  • Culinary torch

1. If using a vanilla bean, slice in half and scrape out the seeds.

2. Pour the cream in a pot, and add the vanilla extract, or the seeds and the bean if using. Add the maple syrup, sugar, lemon zest, and a pinch of salt, then simmer over low heat until the sugar dissolves and the cream starts to bubble a little. Turn off heat and let cool. Pour through a strainer to remove the vanilla bean and pieces of lemon zest.

3. Preheat the oven to 325. While beating the 5 egg yolks, whisk in the cream mixture. If you're not too concerned about raw egg yolks, taste it, then whisk in the lemon juice to taste, adding a little more maple syrup if you find it necessary.

4. Boil some water, place the ramekins in a cake pan, and fill them about 2/3 the way full with brulee mix. Fill the cake pan with the hot water until it reaches halfway up the ramekins, then place in the oven for about 25 minutes. They are done when they have firmed up around the edges a little, but still jiggle. Place them in the fridge to cool and firm up for a couple hours.

5. For the topping, dust a thin layer of the granulated sugar over the chilled custard, then use the blowtorch to melt the sugar, moving it around slowly so that the all the sugar is melted without getting too burned. Place back in the fridge for a minute or two until the sugar cools and forms a hard shell.

Photos by Kevin Schuder

Amaretti Cookies

  • 7 oz. almond paste, grated
  • 3/4 cup of sugar
  • 3 egg whites, whisked until foamy

1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.

2. Mix the almond paste with the sugar. Grating it finely makes it easier to combine with the sugar.

3. Mix the egg white with the sugar and almond paste and knead until consistent. It may take a little while to get out some of the chunks of almond paste, but it doesn't need to be perfectly smooth to make a good cookie. A little variation in texture can be nice, so long as it's easy enough to work with.

4. Layer 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper, and then place 2 T. dollops of the cookie mixture 1 inch apart. Giving them space is important, because these cookies really spread out when baking. Bake in the 300 oven for about 15 - 20 minutes, rotating the pan halfway.

5. The cookies will be really sticky until they cool completely. Serve them with the creme brulee.

Enjoy!

Photos by Kevin Schuder

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