Early spring means maple syrup season here in Maine, in fact, this weekend is our state’s annual Maine Maple Sunday when sugar houses are open to the public for tastings and treats and tours. So, what better time than now to use some of this fabulous liquid gold in our Maple Syrup-Sweetened Slow Cooker Egg Custard?
This smooth and silky slow cooker custard is sweetened only with pure maple syrup. The warm spices—nutmeg, cinnamon and cardamom—along with some vanilla extract add a depth of flavor to the custard and prevent it from tasting too “eggy.”
Egg custard is a simple dessert that is equally at home following a family dinner or a special “company’s coming” affair. Feel free to modify the spices as you like (leave one out if you don’t like it, and add a tiny bit more of another), but don’t go overboard— too much spice will overwhelm the delicate flavor of the custard.
- cooking spray
- 1/3 cup plus 4 teaspoons real maple syrup, divided
- 3 eggs, well-beaten
- 2/3 cup half-and-half
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- pinch nutmeg
- pinch cinnamon, plus extra for garnish if desired
- pinch cardamom
- Spray 4 6-ounce custard cups lightly with cooking spray. Measure 1 teaspoon of maple syrup into the bottom of each cup; set aside.
- In a small mixing bowl or quart-sized liquid measuring cup, whisk together all remaining ingredients until well combined. Slowly pour mixture into the custard cups, dividing it evenly between them.
- Carefully place cups into the bottom of the slow cooker. Cover and cook on LOW for 4 hours. At the end of cooking time, give the slow cooker a gentle jiggle to make sure the custard is set. If it's not set, cook 15 to 30 minutes more. If it is set, unplug the slow cooker and let the custard cups sit in the crock, uncovered, for 1 hour. Remove the custard cups from the slow cooker and refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving.
- To serve, carefully run a knife around the inside edge of the custard cups. Invert the cups onto individual dessert plates or bowls, shaking gently to release the custard. Allow the maple syrup "sauce" to run over the custard and pool around it. If desired, garnish with a sprinkling of cinnamon.
Note: These custards are best eaten the day they are made (prepare them in the morning and serve them at dinner time, for example). However, if you want to keep them overnight, we suggest you prepare them in the afternoon. and then cover them with plastic wrap after the initial 2 hour chill time (you want the custards to be cold before covering them with the wrap).