Do you ever want a light ending for a rich meal? even a light meal? Just something slightly sweet but not heavy, definitely not packed with calories? That's when I turn to my lightened-up versions of the French custards called "pots de crème" – that's pronounced poe-duh-KREM. To keep the calories low, I use whole milk instead of the usual cream and liquids with virtually no calories but a real flavor punch, lemon for Lemon Pots and triple-strength coffee for Coffee Pots.
You know how jazz singer Dinah Washington croons, What a difference a daaaaay makes?
What a difference one ingredient makes! While COFFEE POTS are dark and mysterious, LEMON POTS are sunny and good-natured.
Either would be a perfect close to a Mother’s Day brunch. Make them up before church. By the time the food is served, they’ll be thick and creamy and luscious.
And to all the mothers round the world who will be fêted with family festivities on Sunday? Yes, What a difference a day does make! Happy Mother's Day, all!
For LEMON POTS, substitute fresh lemon juice for the coffee. However, scald the milk alone by itself – otherwise it'll curdle, no good! Then whisk the lemon juice with the egg yolks and use four, not two, tablespoons sugar. After that, whisk in the scalded milk and proceed as written.
Oven time: 30 – 45 minutes
Chill time: several hours or overnight
Makes 5 half-cup servings
- 1-1/2 cups whole milk
- 1/2 cup triple-strength coffee
- 5 large egg yolks
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon liqueur, optional
Heat oven to 325F/160C. Arrange five half-cup ramekins in a 9x13 baking pan.
Measure milk and coffee in a four-cup liquid measuring cup, then pour into a heavy saucepan. Over medium heat, "scald" the milk-coffee mixture, that meant so bring it almost but not quite to a boil, stirring occasionally, watch for small bubbles beginning to form along pan's edges.
Meanwhile, whisk the yolks and sugar well in the same measuring cup. Whisk in the liqueur too if you're using it.
A quarter cup at a time and whisking continuously, slowly pour scalded milk-coffee mixture into the yolk mixture, whisking continuously. (Now you see why I recommend a four-cup measuring cup? There's room for whisking!)
Carefully pour mixture into the ramekins and place pan in oven. Carefully pour very hot tap water (or boiling water) into the pan until it reaches about halfway up sides of ramekins. Bake 30 – 45 minutes until the custard is firm on the outer edges but still a tiny bit jiggly in the center. Carefully lift the ramekins from the 9x13 and let cool to room temperature. Refrigerate until cold and firm.
Get Creative! Especially for Spring and Easter Gatherings
For Easter, consider using broken egg shells as natural-looking ramekins. The hardest part is figuring out how to serve them – I used small liqueur glasses. But once you do, then it's easy. Just wash the shells and let dry. Then place the shells upright in something oven-safe and sturdy – I used a muffin tin, each cup nested inside a ring of foil, inside a 9x13 pan. Fill the shells by pouring liquid custard through a small funnel. Cook for about 30 minutes. Very pretty!
More Recipes for Creamy Desserts
More Recipes for Mother's Day
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