Thursday, January 26, 2012

vanilla custard

have i mentioned yet that i work for an appliance manufacturer? maybe if i ever get my "about me" page up and running i will include that information, but for now, i do. i sell appliances. actually, i don't really sell them, i'm a manager of a high-end appliance gallery. yes, with expensive appliances, we don't call them showrooms, we call them galleries. i'm making jokes about the prices of these appliances, but all joking aside, they are really. amazing. appliances. so amazing that a few years ago i couldn't take coming home to my kitchen with lack-luster appliances anymore, so i convinced my husband to renovate our kitchen. i can now say my kitchen is fully equipped with these really. amazing. appliances.

so working for this company and loving to cook, allows me a few perks. one of them being i get to try out recipes. what could be better, right? they actually WANT me to cook while on the job! i cook for the fun of it and i cook for people. the other night we hosted a dinner. i was the head chef. the meal was simple. we try to show off the appliances, not the food. however, dessert, while still simple, was divine. it could very well be the simplest dessert i have ever made and yet so impressive.

mama says: a couple of notes here. 1.) the appliance this dessert was cooked in, was a steam oven. i'm going to assume most of you don't have a steam oven. the unfortunate part is i have yet to try these desserts in a standard oven using a bain-marie. why would i when i have a steam oven in my own home and a steam oven at work? i promise, once i experiment in the standard oven, i'll let you know. until then, do yourself a favor and buy a steam oven! 2.) the recipe calls for 4-6 oz. ramekins. i used martini glasses. the presentation was absolutely stunning.

mama's drink: if you still have some red wine left in your glass from dinner, continue to sip. if it's after dinner drink time, nothing goes better with these custards than Bailey's Irish Cream. or for those of you who aren't so, indulgent, a good hot cup of coffee will do too.

*Serves 12

1 quart heavy cream
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
6 large egg yolks
1 large egg
3/4 c. granulated sugar
Fresh Blackberries and Mint (for garnish)

10-12 oz frozen blackberries
1 c. seedless blackberry jam
1/4 c. water

  1. Pour the cream into a heavy saucepan. Using the tip of a knife, split the bean lengthwise, then scrape the seeds free from both sides of the bean if using, into the cream and add the pod. Heat the cream over moderate heat until bubbles begin to form around the edge of the pan but do not boil. Remove from heat and discard the vanilla pod.
  2. Whisk together the yolks and egg and granulated sugar in a large bowl until well combined. Add hot cream in a slow steady stream, whisking constantly until combined. Pour custard through a fine-mesh sieve into a large measuring cup to remove any lumps.
  3. Divide the custard evenly among twelve 4-ounce ramekins. Place ramekins in two perforated steam trays. Carefully slide trays into steam oven. Select CUSTOM or COOK mode at 212° F. Steam for 25 minutes or until custard are just set in the center. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or up to 2 days.


  1. Heat frozen blackberries, water, and jam in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer for 10 minutes or until berries become soft.
  2. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a medium bowl, pressing on solids to extract as much liquid as possible; discard solids. Refrigerate sauce until ready to serve.
  3. Just before serving, pour 1 to 2 tablespoons of blackberry coulis over custard, garnish with fresh blackberries, mint, and whip cream.

Recipe courtesy of

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