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Make a spiced maple flan by incorporating freshly grated nutmeg into the mixture. Using a fine rasp grater, finely grate 1/4 tsp. nutmeg and add it to the custard along with the syrup in the second step.

Ingredients:

  • 7 Tbs. pure maple syrup
  • 1 3/4 cups milk
  • 2 whole eggs plus 2 egg yolks
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/8 tsp. salt

Directions:

Prepare the ramekins
Preheat an oven to 325°F. Line a shallow baking pan with a small kitchen towel.

Pour 1 Tbs. of the maple syrup into each of six 3/4-cup ramekins or custard cups. Tilt each ramekin to spread the syrup evenly along the bottom and up the sides.

Make the custard
In a heavy saucepan over medium heat, warm the milk until a few bubbles appear along the edge of the pan. Remove from the heat.

In a bowl, whisk together the whole eggs, egg yolks, sugar, vanilla, salt and the remaining 1 Tbs. maple syrup until blended. While whisking constantly, slowly pour in the hot milk. Pour the custard through a fine-mesh sieve into a pitcher. Divide the custard evenly among the ramekins.

Bake and chill the flan
Place the ramekins in the towel-lined roasting pan and pour hot water into the pan to reach halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Bake until the centers of the custards are set when the ramekins are given a gentle shake, about 50 minutes. Carefully transfer the pan to a wire rack. Remove the ramekins from the water bath as soon as they are cool enough to handle. Cover and refrigerate until well chilled, about 4 hours.

To unmold, run a thin, sharp knife around the edge of each flan. Invert a dessert plate on top of each ramekin and invert the plate and ramekin together. Lift off the ramekins and serve. The maple syrup will form a sauce around each flan. Serves 6.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Food Made Fast Series, Desserts, by Elinor Klivans (Oxmoor House, 2007).