Friday, October 19, 2012

basil pots de creme + strawberry cream crumbs

well, art is art, isn't it? and east is east and west is west and if you take cranberries and stew them like applesauce they taste much more like prunes than rhubarb does.
now, you tell me what you know.

Groucho Marx

trust me.

Basil Pots de Creme
from brave tart, she's magical

16 oz cream
8 oz whole milk
1 vanilla bean, split and scraped, seeds reserved
7 oz sugar 
1 1/2 oz clean basil leaves
8 oz egg yolks
1/4 kosher salt

in a medium pot, combine the milk, cream, and vanilla bean pod. bring mixture to a simmer, then turn off the heat. cover and steep for 1 hour. 
while the vanilla steeps, prepare for the water bath and set a large pot of water on the stove to boil. you'll also need a baking pan with tall sides, like a 9x13" baking pan, a fine mesh strainer, and aluminum foil to cover the baking pan. 

grind the sugar and basil leaves together in the bowl of a food processor for 2 minutes, until the sugar has turned solid green. put the yolks in a medium bowl, then whisk in the basil sugar, reserved vanilla bean seeds and salt. stir to fully incorporate. 
when the steep time is up, preheat the oven to 300 degreesF. return the milk/cream mixture to a simmer, then carefully ladle some of the hot cream into the eggs. repeat with a few more ladle-fulls until the egg mixture has warmed and is more fluid. then whist the warm egg mixture back into the pot of cream. turn the heat to medium low and cook mixture, stirring constantly with a rubber spatula, scraping the bottom and sides. keep cooking and stirring until the mixture becomes quite hot to the touch and has thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon. 
pour the mixture through the sieve into a medium bowl (okay to reuse the bowl that held the eggs). portion the strained mixture evenly between ramekins (i used little jars), and place in the baking pan. fill the pan about 3/4 way full with the boiling water, then cover the whole thing with aluminum foil and carefully transfer to oven. 

bake for between 30-45 minutes, or until the custards have a gentle set. to test, giggle a ramekin. there should not be any liquidy movement in the center. keep baking until the custards are set through. its possible for some of the custards to finish cooking before feel free to remove one by one. 
remove from oven and allow to cool 1 hour. then cover and refrigerate at least 6 hours or until thoroughly chilled through. they will keep, covered and refrigerated, for a week. 

i even put some in the freezer, and it was good. 


Strawberry Cream Scones
adapted from big sur bakery,  and these lovely ones

crumble them up, toast a little bit more in the oven. top the cremes with the crumbles. add a little extra fresh strawberry if you want. i wanted. 

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