Pots de Crème? We’ll Just Call It Puddin’

pudding.jpgMy wife and I hosted a dinner party for her co-workers on Saturday, and I knew that it was going to be a pretty busy day in addition to the cooking that was needed. I had to come up with a simple dessert that I could make in advance, something fairly light, as the earlier courses were fairly heavy. Plus, my freezer was on the blink, so anything involving ice cream was out.

The solution? Pots de crème (that’s “pots of cream” for you non-French speakers). Traditionally served in dainty and elegant lidded cups, these light custards can be made in a jiffy, particularly if you don’t need to cook the mixture to infuse the flavoring.

Lemon is a natural flavoring for pots de crème, but because Meyer lemons are now available, I used this slightly sweeter and more complex flavored citrus fruit. It took me 10 minutes to prepare the custard, pour it into ramekins, and then left them to bake in a bain marie for a little over half an hour. After chilling, I topped them with a bit of sweetened whipped cream and dusted the dish with some Lemonhead candies that I had pulverized into a powder. Adding an almond and chocolate tuile on the side, and the dish was a perfect ending to a perfect meal. And my guests all told me it was the best pudding they ever had.

Recipe after the break.

Meyer Lemon Pots de Crème

2/3 cup sugar
1 whole egg
4 egg yolks
1 1/4 cups heavy cream
1 teaspoon grated Meyer lemon rind (use a Microplane)
1/2 cup Meyer lemon juice

Preheat oven to 325°

Whisk lemon juice, sugar, egg, egg yolks together. Whisk in the cream until the sugar dissolves. Pass the mixture through a strainer; stir in the lemon rind.

Place 6 – 3/4 cup pot de creme cups or ramekins in a large roasting pan. Divide the mixture evenly into the cups. Pour enough hot water in the pan to come halfway up the sides of the dishes. Cover the pan with aluminum foil. Place in oven and bake until the custard is just set around the edges, approximately 35 minutes.

Remove the pan from the oven. Remove dishes from the pan and allow them to cool. Then, cover and chill in refrigerator at least 2 hours and as long as overnight.

Recipe from GourmetSleuth.com

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