Friday, 3 January 2014

Creamy baked custard (with goat's milk, no added cream)

Goat milk baked custard - light, creamy, sweet and quick.
A light, creamy dessert for two - a quick but decadent alternative to using your goat's
milk for cheese.

1 C goat* milk
2 egg yolks, at room temperature
1 whole egg, at room temperature
2 T caster sugar
1/8 t vanilla essence
1/2 t brown sugar**

Preheat the oven to 200°C (392°F). Place two large-ish ramekins (to hold about 1 1/2 C liquid - this is larger than your average ramekin) on top of a tea towel, in a roasting dish (anything with high sides). Sprinkle the brown sugar on the bottom of each ramekin (1/4 t per ramekin).

Heat the milk over a low heat until almost simmering (if you see steam coming off the top, you're there - do not let it boil). Turn the heat off. Leave to cool 5 minutes.

While the milk cools, combine sugar, egg yolks and egg with a fork (not a whisk - the fork incorporates minimal air into the mix, which makes for a smooth custard).

When milk has cooled for 5 minutes, stir in the vanilla essence and pour very gradually into the egg mixture, stirring gently but constantly with your fork. The warm milk helps the eggs to begin cooking - but be careful to pour gradually, so you don't cook the eggs too quickly (which will cause your custard to curdle). Once combined, pour into your ramekins (you can do this through a strainer to enhance the smooth texture of the custard, but we always forget to).

Place ramekins in roasting dish in the oven. Fill a jug with hot water from the tap, and pour the hot water into the roasting dish to reach the same level as the custard inside the ramekins. The aim is to prevent direct heat on the custard - hence the tea towel underneath the ramekins.

Reduce heat to 160°C (320°F). Bake 30 minutes, or until a butter knife inserted into the custard comes out relatively clean. The custard will still be slightly wobbly in the middle (but remember that it keeps cooking outside the oven).

Remove ramekins from the water, and refrigerate. Serve lukewarm or cold, depending on how long you can make yourself wait. Enjoy.

Thank your friendly milk-producing goat and dedicated egg-laying hens with grain.

*Or whole cow's milk - just don't tell Helen.
**Or use 1/8 t nutmeg, or even both...

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