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Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Old-Fashioned Baked Custard

Old-Fashioned Baked Custard
Old-Fashioned Baked Custard

Pots de Crème
MAKES: 4 to 6 servings
TIME: About 45 minutes

This all-American custard is easy to make and incredibly filling. You will be sneaking leftovers at midnight and breakfast, especially if you make it with good eggs and cream. Substitute 1 teaspoon vanilla extract for the cinnamon and nutmeg if you like. Finish with Whipped
Cream (page 882) and/or fresh berries.

2 cups cream, milk, or a mixture
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
2 eggs plus 2 yolks
Pinch salt
1/2 cup sugar, or more if you like things very sweet 

1- Put the cream, the cinnamon, and half the nutmeg in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook just until it
begins to steam, 3 to 5 minutes.2- Use a whisk or an electric mixer to beat the eggs and yolks with the salt and sugar until pale yellow and
fairly thick. Heat the oven to 300°F and put a kettle of water on to boil.
3- Gradually add the cream to the egg mixture, stirring constantly. Pour the mixture into an ovenproof dishor six 4- to 6-ounce custard cups and sprinkle with the remaining nutmeg. Put the dish or cups in a baking pan
and pour hot water into the pan to within about 1 inch of the top of the bowl or cups. Bake until the mixture is not quite set—it should wobble just a little in the middle—about 30 minutes for the cups, about 15 minutes
longer if you’re baking in a dish. Use your judgment; cream sets faster than milk. Serve warm, at room temperature, or cold, within a day.
Crème Brûlée. Substitute a vanilla bean, split lengthwise (see page 961), or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract for the cinnamon and nutmeg. Add 1/2 cup more cream.Omit the whole eggs and increase the yolks to six. After baking, remove from the oven, cool, cover with plastic, and chill for up to a day or two. Put an oven
rack as close to the broiler as the height of the dish or cups will allow and turn on the broiler. Sprinkle the
tops of the custards evenly with 1/2 cup sugar. Broil, watching carefully and turning the dish(es) as necessary. When the sugar bubbles and browns, it’s ready. Let sit for a few minutes before serving. (You can also
do the brûlée with a propane torch. Same concept: Heat the sugar with the flame until it bubbles and
Flan (Crème Caramel). Here a layer of caramel is put on the bottom of the custard before baking: Put 1 cup sugar and 1/4 cup water in a small nonaluminum saucepan. Turn the heat to low and cook, stirring
occasionally, until the sugar liquefies and turns clear, then golden brown, about 15 minutes. Remove from
the heat and immediately pour the caramel into the dish or custard cups. Make the custard exactly as
directed, pouring it into the prepared bowl or cups and baking. Cool on a rack, then chill or serve. To
remove, dip the dish or cups in boiling water for about 15 seconds, then invert onto a plate or plates.

Chocolate Custard. A richer custard than Chocolate Pudding (page 950), but no more difficult to make: Substitute 1 teaspoon vanilla extract for the cinnamon and nutmeg. Heat 1 ounce chopped bittersweet
chocolate in a double boiler or in a very small saucepan over very low heat, stirring almost constantly, until it melts; cool slightly. Proceed with the recipe, stirring the chocolate into the eggs before the
cream. You can use 2 ounces of chocolate for an even more intense flavor.
Lemon Custard. You need more eggs to compensate for
the added liquid and more sugar to compensate for the tartness here; as a result, this will serve 6 easily. In
Step 2, increase the yolks to 4, the whole eggs to 3, and the sugar to 3/4 cup. Add 1/2 cup strained lemon
juice and 1 tablespoon very finely minced lemon zest to the mixture and proceed with the recipe.
Pumpkin Custard. Steam or boil about 2 cups peeled and
cubed pumpkin or winter squash until very tender. Cool, then purée with some of the milk after it has
cooled. Increase the sugar to 3/4 cup. Increase the eggs to 3 and the yolks to 3 and proceed with the recipe


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