How to Make It
Preheat the oven to 325°. Spoon 1 teaspoon of maple syrup into each of twelve 1/2-cup ramekins, swirling to coat the bottoms. Arrange the ramekins in a large roasting pan.
In a large stainless steel bowl, whisk the yolks with the whole eggs until blended. Whisk in the remaining 3 cups of maple syrup. Pour the mixture into the ramekins. Carefully pour enough very hot water into the roasting pan to reach halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Cover the pan with foil and bake for about 55 minutes, or until the custards are just set.
Using tongs, immediately remove the ramekins from the hot water and let cool to room temperature. Refrigerate the custards for at least 6 hours or overnight.
Meanwhile, in a large skillet, melt the butter. Add the pecans and stir to coat with the butter. Cook over moderate heat until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Put the sugar in a large bowl. With a slotted spoon, transfer the pecans to the bowl with the sugar and toss to coat. Transfer the nuts to a baking sheet, shaking off any excess sugar. Sprinkle lightly with salt. Let cool.
Carefully run a thin knife around each custard. Dip each ramekin in a bowl of boiling water, then quickly invert the custard onto a plate. Spoon whipped cream over the custards, garnish with the sugared pecans and serve.