Dairy-Free Maple Pot de Creme and Backyard Chickens

The following is a guest post from Angela Litzinger:

I am very fortunate to have a mini-flock of chickens in my urban backyard.  Chickens are inquisitive, friendly birds who give us an opportunity to teach our kids respect for animals and where their food comes from.  Even after months of egg gathering (and coop cleaning!) the romance of chicken keeping hasn’t faded for me.  It is renewed every morning when I gather their still warm eggs.

With a backyard flock eggs are always available for a quick meal or baking experiment.  I’ve been having a lot of fun with egg whites lately.  Fresh egg whites fluff up like you would not beleive, making meringues and sponge cakes that loft to almost magical heights.  The problem with the experimenrs, however, is that I’m left with extra yolks – lots and lots of extra yolks.  While yolks can be added to scrambled eggs and omelettes, or used in fried rice, pot de creme is what I usually want to make.

Pot de creme is the French name for lightly set, baked custard.  Traditional proportions to make them are one whole egg to every five egg yolks with 2 1/2 to 3 cups of liquid.  Sound difficult?  Not at all!  It only sounds difficult to make with its fancy name.  Pots de creme only require a bowl, saucepan, wisk, and strainer.  Add something to bake the tasty treat in and a bit of hot water, and you’re all set.  I promise that this is one of the easiest and most delicious gluten free desserts, fancy enough for a party, yet easy enough to make during the week.    

Pot de creme are naturally gluten free, and usually made with dairy.  For my dairy-free family I replace cream with organic canned coconut milk, then lightly sweeten with pure maple syrup.  Maple is often used as a fall flavor, but to me it speaks of spring as that is when maple syrup is made.

The best thing about these (besides how easy and delicious they are) is that you can make them a day or so ahead of when you need them.  Instead of ramikins or custard cups, I often use 4 ounce canning jars.  When cooled, add lids for a fun portable treat.

Coconut milk (loaded with anti-fungal, anti-viral medium-chain fatty acid lauric acid), egg yolks (one of the richest dietary sources of the B-complex vitamin choline) and manganese rich maple syrup make a treat I can feel good about giving my growing kids after active day of play.  And, did I mention how easy it is to make?

How do you use up extra egg yolks?  I would love to hear your ideas!

Dairy Free Maple Pot de Creme

Serves 6

I use Grade B maple syrup in these.  It has a richer maple flavor, allowing me to use less syrup (1/3 cup) to acheive our family’s desired flavor.  If you use lighter Grade A maple syrup, or just like things a bit sweeter, you can use the 1/2 cup measure.

  • 2 1/4 cups organic canned coconut milk (NOT light – preferablly 22% fat)
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup maple syrup (depends of your desired level of sweetness)
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 egg
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 3/4 teaspoon gluten free vanilla extract
  1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F and arrange six (4-ounce) ramekins, custard cups or canning jars in a baking dish.
  2. Combine coconut milk, maple syrup, and salt in a small saucepan. Heat, whisking often, until it just comes to a simmer. Remove from heat.  In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg, egg yolks and vanilla until combined.  Continue to whisk the egg mixture and add about a cup of the the coconut milk mixture a few tablespoons at a time.  This is to slowly heat the egg mixture so you don’t get scrambled eggs!  Whisk the remaining coconut milk into the egg mixture until completely combined. Strain mixture through a fine sieve.
  3. Divide the mixture between the six ramekins.  Pour enough hot water into the rimmed baking dish to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins.  Bake until edges are set but the center gently jiggles when shook, about 50-55 minutes.  Carefully remove the ramekins from the water bath and cool to room temperature on a cooling rack.
  4. Eat, or cover and refrigerate.  Delicious at room temperature, lightly warm or chilled.

AngelasKitchen.comAngela is the author and recipe developer behind the gluten-free dairy-free website, Angela’s Kitchen.  She loves cooking up whole food budget friendly family favorites, while balancing her role as master food preserver, gluten- and dairy-free cooking instructor and as a mother of three kids and a flock of spunky chickens.  Due to a passion to bring families back to the dinner table, Angela’s Kitchen features free weekly menus with grocery lists, freezer cooking and slow cooker recipes, with seasonal food preservation ideas. 

6 Responses to Dairy-Free Maple Pot de Creme and Backyard Chickens

  • Pingback: Guest post at the Balanced Platter – Dairy Free Maple Pot de Creme

  • Kim says:

    Angela, Your pictures are beautiful! Makes me want to hang out with some chickens.

    [Reply]

    Angela Reply:

    @Kim, Thanks for your kind comment, Kim! You should get some chickens! They are even more fun than I thought they would be. I love listening to them coo and cluck. Very relaxing! Though a couple are super sassy diva chickens – LOL!

    [Reply]

  • Alta says:

    Oh my, these pots de crème sound magnificent. And I am jealous of your chickens! Our city doesn’t allow it. I would LOVE to have a flock of my own.

    [Reply]

    Angela Reply:

    @Alta, I am very lucky to have my chickens. Just a half mile away from my house is another city line and I would have to pay a big permit fee for my feathery girls if I just lived on the other side of it. Thank goodness, my city is more open to chickens.

    [Reply]

  • Raising chickens is such a wonderful family experience! We had an ill-fated run of raising chickens during my childhood. It didn’t mix well with a very inquisitive rotwieler. :(

    What a creative way to use up your extra yolks too! I love anything dairy-free and creamy!

    Heather

    [Reply]

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