Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Baked Custard with a Canadian Twist

One of the things I have been enjoying about Isabelle’s new school is the good food. For Isabelle's class each day one family is in charge of bringing a snack for everyone. Just after school started we received our assignments for the first part of the year which for me included cereal and milk, yogurt, bread and jam and, today’s challenge, creme. My first task was to find out what was meant by creme – which includes baked custard, creme caramel, creme brulee etc. So off I went to our favorite cookbook, Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything. I made a few changes to his recipe but I think it turned out pretty well.

Baked Custard

2 cups heavy cream, light cream or milk I used 1c skim milk and 1c half and half
½ tsp each cinnamon, ground and nutmeg, ground I substituted 1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs  
2 egg yolks  
½ cup sugar  
pinch salt  
    about 6 tsp maple syrup

1. Place milk/cream in a small saucepan with the vanilla and turn the heat to medium. Cook just until it begins to steam.

2. Use a whisk or electric mixer to beat the eggs and yolks with the salt and sugar until pale yellow and fairly thick.

3. Preheat the oven to 300 F and set a kettle of water to boil.

4. Add the cream gradually to the egg mixture, stirring constantly.

5. Put about 1 tsp maple syrup into each of six 4-6 oz custard cups.

6. Pour the custard mixture over the maple syrup.

7. Place the bowl or cups in a baking pan and pour hot water in, 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 (mine took closer to 50 mins) Use your judgment; cream sets up faster than milk.

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