We are in a state of impending gloom, as our chevre season is almost over. The dairy does really are shifting their attention to the breeding season, love is in the air, and their production is dropping. So one more fresh cheese batch this week, and then we’re done. Except for the lovely frozen packages we’ve squirreled away, we have one more chance to make a recipe like the one that follows. It’s a nice way to rout ourselves out of mourning for fresh milk and cheese!
Recipe source: Tartelette, adapted by Delicious Days
Prep time: 20 min., baking: ~20-25 min.
Ingredients (serves 6-8, depending on ramekin size):
*375 g heavy cream, or half cream, half fresh goat cheese
*1/2 vanilla bean, cut lengthwise, seeds scraped out
*2-3 Meyer lemons (zest of one lemon & 60 ml juice)
*6 egg yolks (L) *100 g white sugar *a pinch of fine sea salt
1 Preheat your oven to 160°C (~315°F)and position a rack in the center.
2 Combine heavy cream, vanilla (bean and scraped out seeds) and lemon zest in a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat, then turn off the heat and let steep for about 10 minutes.
3 Whisk together egg yolks and sugar in a large bowl until it become pale in color (at least 4 minutes on medium level with my KitchenAid), then add the lemon juice and a pinch of salt until thoroughly combined.
4 Strain the heavy cream though a fine mesh sieve and discard the lemon zest. Slowly pour the heavy cream over the egg yolk mixture and whisk well, but slowly – otherwise you will end up with too much foam on top of your custard base. In case the final mixture is too foamy, you should wait a couple of minutes (the foam will rise to the top) and then skim it off. (I find this step very important, as any foam left will produce an unpleasant, slightly grainy texture on top of the final Pots de Creme.)
5 Place small ramekins in a large enough casserole or other deep baking dish (I like to place a paper towel beneath, as it prevents the ramekins from sliding) and divide the custard mixture among the ramekins. Fill the baking dish up with hot water until it reaches about halfway up the ramekins’ sides.
6 Bake the Pots de Creme for 20 to 25 minutes (mine took no longer than 20 minutes) until the top is set, but the custard as a whole still jiggles when tapped. Remove the pan from the oven, carefully lift the ramekins from the hot water and let cool on the counter before chilling them for a couple of hours in the fridge (cover them with foil to prevent the custard from adopting any fridge odors).