February 19, 2008

if you eat this you will be happy

This was so good it made me want to call everyone I knew and tell them how amazing it was. So good that when my dad called as I was finishing one I waited to talk to him until I was done thinking about the last bite. My really amazing girlfriend made this really amazing dessert and came up with the really amazing topping. You will be so happy you made it.

Maple custards
2 cups cream
1/2 cup maple syrup (or maple sugar)
6 egg yolks

Preheat the oven to 325.

Warm the cream. Stir the syrup or sugar into the egg yolks. Mix in a little of the warm cream, then mix in the rest of the cream, stirring constantly. The recipe says to strain into a pitcher, but you should just pour it into a liquid measuring cup. Pour into six little ramekins and arrange them on a baking dish. Heat some water, put the baking dish in the oven, and pour the hot water in the baking dish so it comes about halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Lay a sheet of foil on top to lightly cover them. Recipe says: bake for about 40 minutes or until the custards are set in a ring about 1/2 inch wide around the outside edge. They should still be soft in the center.

Make this dessert with the best ingredients you can get. There are only 3 ingredients and the taste is really subtle and comples, so it's worth buying farm eggs and super-quality cream and dark dark maple syrup (grade C even, since maple syrup grades are based on color not quality). We get unpasteurized double cream which is kind of like a revelation in dairy fat.

The recipe is from Chez Panisse Desserts, by Lindsey Remolif Shere, which is worth owning if you like dessert. Which is to say, worth owning.

Then, since you live on the East Coast and have local cranberries available, make a compote for the top. The Gardener came up with this.

2 cups of cranberries
2 tablespoons of sugar, about - or to taste
a little port or red wine or something

Heat the cranberries in a little pan with a little water or port. Put the sugar in - you can put less and then adjust it. You want it tart so that it contrasts with the creamy nutty sweetness of the pudding. Keep simmering the cranberries - not too much water, let them dry out so it's cranberries not sauce, add port and water as needed - until they're ready. Put a spoonful on each pudding before you serve them. Grate a tiny bit of orange zest on everything.

Have I mentioned how amazingly delicious this is?

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