Coffee Pots & Lemon Pots

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.

Lemon Pots (also Coffee Pots) @ ~ light and lemony custard, a perfect ending to a rich meal ~ Weight Watchers PointsPlus 4

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.

NUTRITION INFORMATION Per serving without/with liqueur: 142/153 Calories; 6g Tot Fat; 16/18g Carb; 0g Fiber; 37mg Sodium; 216mg Cholesterol; 5g Protein. WEIGHT WATCHERS POINTS Old Points 3/3.5 & PointsPlus 4

ALANNA's TIPS Experiment with liqueurs to complement or contrast the coffee or lemon flavors. For example, for the COFFEE POTS, consider kahlua or cherry kirsch or for the LEMON POTS, think about limoncello or marsala. Adjust the quantities and cooking time but consider using small oven-safe coffee mugs rather than ramekins. Serve these cool custards with small spoons to encourage savoring every silky smidgen. POTS are a favorite way to use up extra egg yolks but here are ideas for using up leftover egg whites. POT recipes are great examples of employing intensely flavored no-cal or low-cal ingredients for healthful, satisfying results.


Hands-on time: 15 minutes
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.

NUTRITION INFORMATION Per serving without/with liqueur: 117/128 Calories; 6g Tot Fat; 9/11g Carb; 0g Fiber; 37mg Sodium; 216mg Cholesterol; 5g Protein. WEIGHT WATCHERS POINTS Old Points 3 & PointsPlus 3 This recipe has been "Alanna-sized" with reductions in sugar and fat.

Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. Do you have a favorite "light dessert" recipe that other Kitchen Parade readers might like? Just send me a quick e-mail via How to print a Kitchen Parade recipe. Never miss a recipe! If you like this recipe, sign up for a free e-mail subscription. If you like Kitchen Parade, you're sure to like my food blog about vegetable recipes, too, A Veggie Venture. Follow Kitchen Parade on Facebook!

Get Creative! Especially for Spring and Easter Gatherings

Lemon Pots, here cooked in eggshells instead of the usual ramekins. Very pretty for Easter!

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

(hover for a description, click a photo for a recipe)
Sugar-Free Raspberry Bliss Chocolate Cream Puffs Stuffed with Strawberries & Cream Upside-Down Rhubarb Cheesecake
~ more dessert recipes ~

More Recipes for Mother's Day

(hover for a description, click a photo for a recipe)
Easy Make-Ahead Breakfast Casserole Asparagus Custard Tart Cottage Cheese Pancakes

Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.


  1. Anonymous7/21/2007

    Alanna, I love the idea of serving these in egg shells! It's so cool...and totally biodegradable all at the same time. Plus, this recipe sounds really delicious.

    :-) Genie

  2. Thanks Genie! They were a real hit last night. And just before serving, I realized that I should fill those little liqueur glasses, giving everyone a tiny bit of dessert and a sip of after-dinner something. Next time I'll add a small piece of good chocolate, too, or maybe a small cookie. Definitely special. And WAY easier than it appears ...



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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. But I also love hearing your reactions, your curiosity, even your concerns! When you've made a recipe, I especially love to know how it turned out, what variations you made, what you'll do differently the next time. ~ Alanna