So, after making cannelloni the other day I had a truck load of ricotta cheese (larger than needed quantity purchased on special) and a keen interest in finding something to use it up before it went bad. Side note: you can freeze ricotta as long as you intend to cook it in/with something, the texture isn’t great for eating alone once frozen and defrosted (people do that?).
I did a search through my database and came up with this little gem. I knew there was a bottle of maple syrup somewhere in the back of the cupboard and luckily for me it contained just the right amount for this recipe. This dessert is very much like a crème caramel but has (due to the ricotta) a grainier, more rustic, appearance and texture. It was very tasty though and certainly worth a try if you are a ricotta fan or you just have a truck load lying about going begging for something to do.
Maple Ricotta Flans
1/4 cup plus 1 tsp pure maple syrup
4 beaten eggs
425g container ricotta cheese
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
Ground nutmeg or cinnamon (optional)
Preheat oven to 160C. Divide the 1/4 cup maple syrup among six 180ml custard cups; tilt custard cups to coat bottoms evenly.
In a bowl combine eggs, cheese, sugar, vanilla, and remaining teaspoon maple syrup.
Mix until well combined but not foamy. Place the custard cups in a 3L rectangular baking dish.
Divide egg mixture among custard cups. Sprinkle with nutmeg.
Place the baking dish on an oven rack.
Pour boiling water into the baking dish around custard cups to a depth of 2.5cm.
Bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until a knife inserted near the centres comes out clean.
Remove cups from water. Cool completely in custard cups. Cover and chill until serving time.
To unmold flans, loosen edges with a knife, slipping point of knife down sides to let air in.
Invert a dessert plate over each flan; turn custard cup and plate over together.
Makes 6 servings.