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Posts Tagged ‘healthy dessert’

Baked_Custard_G10_IMG_0387

As I’ve mentioned many times I love what used to be called “nursery desserts” – that is those sweets that were, once upon a time, served only to children because they were simple to make and easy to digest.  In that category were bread and butter puddings, rice pudding, custards (both quaking and sauce-like), floating island and so forth.  When a child my two favorites were junket (a rather strange, mildly-flavored gelatinous pudding) and baked custard.  The other day I decided to try to make a custard for a friend who has a great many intolerances – among them gluten, dairy, and sugars which makes it difficult to prepare most desserts.  Custard doesn’t require flours, but it certainly needs heavy cream and quite a bit of sugar.  I substituted almond milk for the cream and used a sugar replacement and my sweet friend said it was very satisfying, but I have to say if you want to try your hand at old-fashioned custard stick to a recipe using cream and sugar.  I know that I will next time.

2 cups heavy cream
Freshly grated nutmeg to taste (that’s traditional, but I don’t much like it so never use it)
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3 whole eggs, at room temperature
1 egg yolk, at room temperature
½ cup sugar or more if you have a sweet tooth such as mine

Preheat the oven to 300ºF.
Generously butter the interior of a 1 quart baking dish or 6 small ramekins.  Set aside.
Whisk the eggs, egg yolk, and sugar together until well-blended by not too light and fluffy as that will leave bubbles in the baking custard.  Set aside.
Heat the cream and vanilla in a medium saucepan over medium heat just until it begins to steam.  Do not let it even come to a bare simmer – again, those bubbles.
Stirring constantly, slowly add the hot cream to the eggs.  When perfectly blended, pour the mixture through a fine mesh sieve into the prepared baking dish.
Place the baking dish in a larger baking pan.  Add very hot water to come up about half way the side of the baking dish.  Transfer to the preheated oven and bake for about 40 minutes (less if you are using individual ramekins) or until the center is still shaky when the bowl is moved.  It continues to cook for a bit once removed from the oven and you don’t want it to over-cook as it will toughen.
Remove from the heat and serve warm, at room temperature, or, if you like, refrigerate and serve cold.

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Blackberry_Fool_IMG_1356

 

I grew up eating gooseberry fool and when a child, thought my mom had made up the name ‘cause it would fool me into thinking it was ice cream.  But, I later learned that it is the olde English name for a fruit dessert – classically gooseberry – that combined mashed fresh fruit with a custard sauce.  My mom just used whipped cream and fruit and I now use a combination of whipped cream and yogurt rather than the richer custard.  We have had such beautiful berries this summer that I’ve tried to use them in lots of different ways although they have all been sweet and delicious on their own.  Last night I took the last of the blackberries, mashed them with a bit of sugar and then folded them into vanilla nonfat yogurt.  A perfect summer dessert.

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