Maple season is here! Every year, I look forward to seeing maple producers set up shop at local markets. Their arrival is reason to celebrate: it means winter’s over halfway through! My favorite shopping spot for maple products is Quebec City’s Marché du Vieux-Port (Old Port Market). For nearly two months, from mid-March until early May, a dozen producers from the region’s best maple farms gather to sell treats that would make any sweets-lover weak in the knees: chocolates filled with maple cream, maple fudge, maple taffy, maple sugar cones, and on, and on.
But the real reason I make a point of visiting my favorite producers is so I can stock up on basic maple products. I use a ton of maple syrup and granulated maple sugar in my baking every year, and getting it straight from the producers ensures I get pure maple products. Maple-“flavored” products are my pet peeve—there’s just nothing like the real thing.
Even though I use maple products year-round, every year, I strive to make the most of the season while it lasts. I’ll remake family classics—such as fudge, madeleines, cookies, meringues, muffins, cupcakes, or this heavenly fluffy Maple Walnut Cream Tart—and introduce new recipes to the line-up, too.
One of the best things about maple season is that it slightly overlaps citrus season, and citrus fruits and maple go so well together. It’s an opportunity I just can’t let slip past! Lately, I’ve been unusually busy, but I didn’t want to miss out on this blissful time of year. I decided to make a maple-flavored version of panna cotta, which is one of my go-to treats. I’ve previously written about why I love panna cotta so much—it’s so fast to make and so, so good!—but using maple syrup to sweeten the dessert brings it to simply supernaturally delicious levels.
I wanted to serve this maple panna cotta with something fresh and something crunchy, so I diced bright coral Cara Cara oranges and made a simple shortbread-like maple crumble to top things off. This is probably the best panna cotta I’ve ever made. If you’ve never made or even—gasp!—tasted panna cotta before, let this recipe be your introduction to the world of easy but extremely satisfying desserts.
Makes 6 servings.
This easy and delightful Maple Panna Cotta is topped with bright coral Cara Cara oranges and a simple shortbread-like maple crumble. It's the perfect treat to celebrate maple season!
10 minPrep Time
5 minCook Time
4 hr, 15 Total Time
Make the Maple Panna Cotta: Pour ½ cup (125 ml) of the whole milk into a large bowl. Sprinkle the gelatin over the milk and let rest about 5 minutes (don’t mix—this step allows the gelatin to bloom).
Pour the rest of the whole milk (1 cup / 250 ml) and the heavy cream in a saucepan. Whisk in the maple syrup and vanilla extract. Heat over medium heat until the mixture is piping hot (no need to simmer or boil).
Pour the very hot milk mixture over the gelatin and whisk until the gelatin is completely dissolved. Divide the maple panna cotta mixture between 6 glasses, small bowls, or ramekins. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 4 hours to set.
Make the Pecan-Maple Crumble: Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl, mix the flour, maple sugar, and chopped pecans together. Add the cold butter and incorporate it to the dry ingredients using a pastry cutter, a fork, or your hands, until the mixture forms pea-sized crumbs. Spread the mixture on the cookie sheet and bake for 10 minutes until the crumbs are golden (mixing the crumbs two to three times during baking allows them to brown more evenly). Let cool completely. Store the crumble in an airtight container at room temperature until ready to use. (The crumble will keep for up to three days.)
Prepare the Cara Cara orange layer: In a small bowl, combine the diced Cara Cara oranges and maple syrup. Spoon some of the oranges over each panna cotta.
Just before serving, top each Maple Panna Cotta with a generous sprinkle of crumble.
The Maple Panna Cotta can be prepared up to two days ahead. Keep the servings covered with plastic wrap in the fridge until ready to serve.
MAKE IT DAIRY FREE
For the Maple Panna Cotta:
- Substitute any plant-based milk (almond, cashew, soy) for the regular whole milk.
- Substitute any plant-based cream (almond, cashew, soy) for the regular heavy cream.
For the Maple-Pecan Crumble:
Recipe Credit: Marie Asselin
This post was created in partnership with Quebec City’s Marché du Vieux-Port to celebrate maple season and highlight the talented and hard-working maple producers that sell their products at the market every year. I was offered product compensation to develop a delicious recipe using maple products. As always, companies never dictate what recipes I create, or the opinions I express. I only use products I genuinely believe in. For more information about sponsored posts, please read my Disclosure Policy. Thank you for supporting the sponsors that keep Food Nouveau running!
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