Thanksgiving is almost here and what better way to celebrate than with Maple Bourbon Crème Brulee. It may sound fancy, and taste fancy, but this perfect party dessert is much easier to make than it looks. Maple syrup and bourbon whiskey are the two key ingredients here. The sweet and subtle flavors add just enough complexity to make this crème brulee standout in any crowd of desserts.
People often find French desserts intimidating and sometimes old fashioned. Souffles, Crème Brulee, Pot de Crème, Tart Tatin are just a few that often sound more sophisticated and difficult than they actually are. Many of these desserts utilize classic techniques that allow for creative modern twists. Crème Brulee is just a baked cream mixture but the caramelized/brulee top provides a slight bitterness that compliments the sweet cream. This brulee or caramelization is often the scariest part about re-creating this restaurant favorite at home, but a top broiler or culinary torch makes it super simple. So fear not! This fancy French dessert is at your fingertips (quite literally).
Although I’ve posted about Crème Brulee previously, this recipe is very loosely adapted from “Baking,” by Dorie Greenspan. It’s unusual that I post two recipes in a row that are adapted from the same cookbook but I’ve been diving into this 500 page all-encompassing baking book and fresh ideas keep coming. Maple and bourbon are such comforting fall flavors, I couldn’t resist pairing them with the rich heavy crème.
I mentioned that this is a great autumn party or holiday dessert. But I should also note that this is a wonderful dessert to make if you’re home alone, stressed, sad, or just need a sweet pick-me-up to finish the day. Just halve this recipe to make around 3 servings and caramelize the sugar on each crème as you’re ready to eat it (this is a little easier to do with a culinary torch). Voila! Maple Bourbon Crème Brulee is a dessert worth enjoying with friends, alone or just because.