Seven years ago today
. . . I was running through an airport with a wedding dress over my head. By sundown I’d left my old world behind, and within twenty-four hours I had a new last name and a marriage certificate more colorful than an Olympic logo. (Certain stateside organizations still refuse to acknowledge it. It’s in Spanish, not Klingon!)
The ceremony is a blur . . .
I think I was in shock that it was actually happening. But as we swung open those mahogany reception doors and laid our eyes on the feast set before us things started coming back into focus . . . cornish hen with a local squash and fried plantains over coconut creme brulée . . . wine . . . laughter intermingled with blessings as the candles melted into stumps. I remember that meal like it was yesterday.
Since we can’t skip over to the Martineau Bay Resort to relive that night I’ve been working on a coconut creme brulee of my own. This recipe is a rich, maple-infused version with just a hint of tropical flair. Enjoy!
- ⅔ cup maple syrup (where to buy maple syrup)
- a few tablespoons raw turbinado sugar for topping* (where to buy raw turbinado sugar)
- 10 large pastured egg yolks
- 1⅓ cup heavy cream
- ⅔ cup coconut milk (how to make coconut milk)
- ¼ teaspoon salt (where to buy unrefined sea salt)
- 1 tablespoon vanilla (where to buy organic vanilla extract)
- 6 tsp shredded or flaked coconut for sprinkling
- Preheat oven to 350F. Place six ¾ cup ramekins in large roasting pan.
- Pour cream, coconut milk and vanilla into a saucepan - heat until it barely begins to simmer. Remove from heat and set aside.
- While you're waiting on the cream to warm up, begin separating your eggs. Place yolks in a mixing bowl with maple syrup and salt. Whisk until smooth.
- S-L-O-W-L-Y pour the cream over the yolks while gently stirring. Don't rush, because adding the cream to quickly will cause the yolks to curdle. Add salt and stir gently.
- Transfer the liquid into the ramekins, dividing equally.
- Pour enough hot water into roasting pan to come halfway up sides of cups. Bake until custards are set in center, about 35-40 minutes. Remove from water and allow to cool until custards are at room temperature. Chill overnight.
- To create the carmelized sugar topping: Preheat broiler. Place custards in a roasting pan. Pour enough ice water into pans to come up halfway the sides of the ramekins. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon turbinado sugar evenly over each. Broil until sugar browns, rotating roasting pan for even browning and watching closely so the sugar doesn't burn. Chill custards at least 1 hour before serving. (Can be broiled, then chilled up to 6 hours ahead.)