Tuesday, March 10, 2009

TWD: Lemon Cup Custard


This week's Tuesdays with Dorie selection is the Lemon Cup Custard. I admit that I actually consider myself more of a cookies and cake type of girl. I've skipped the pudding recipes and the creme brulee selection just because they don't overly appeal to me. When I read through the P&Q section where all of the TWD members post their comments and questions, the tone was largely unenthusiastic for this recipe. So I teetered on the brink of not making it, but at the last minute (i.e. last night) decided to go for it. I joined the group to try new things, so why not?

The ingredient list was rather simple - milk, lemon zest, eggs, sugar and lemon extract. The ease of the ingredients is really what convinced me to go through with making this. And since I only wanted to sample it, I halved the recipe to make it just enough for my hubby and I to each have a serving.


To start, the lemon is zested. I opted to zest the entire lemon, which is what Dorie recommended for the full recipe. But even though I was halving the recipe, I still used the whole lemon in order to make the flavor more pronounced (based on people's feedback who had already tried the recipe). Oh, and I accidentally zested my thumb while I was at it. Ouch. The amount of injuries I sustain while baking is just unbelievable... you'd think it's a contact sport.


The lemon zest is combined with the milk and brought just to a boil. It sits for 30 minutes to allow the flavor to infuse. I let it sit for an hour. I was doing everything possible to bring out that lemon flavor.


The eggs and the sugar are whisked together. Pretty easy recipe so far!


Next, the milk is poured in through a strainer to catch the zest. It goes in nice and slowly to temper the eggs. Whisk constantly. Hard to do when you're holding a pan of milk in one hand, the strainer in the other hand, and your bowl is covered by the strainer. Thankfully, I made it work.


The lemon extract is now added to the mixture. I used extra. Again, going for that lemony flavor, all the while hoping I'm not going overboard.


Pour the custard into your dishes and place them in a pan on paper towels. Pour boiling water into the pan. It should go halfway up the custard cups. Bake in a 325 degree F oven.


I found that mine needed to bake way longer than Dorie suggested. I kept checking at every five minute interval and they were still jiggly. I lost track of how many times I did this, but eventually the tops started to brown ever so slightly, so I decided to just call it a day and take them out.

The verdict?

ICK!

I didn't like it and neither did my husband. I did have two bites... I really wanted to like it. But I felt like I was eating cold scrambled eggs... with a tiny hint of lemon. A lot of people complained of the eggy-ness of this and now I know what they mean.

My husband did finish an entire cup of it, though. He kept taking a bite and making a really horrible face. I yelled at him to stop putting himself through the torture - I wasn't going to have hurt feelings if he didn't eat it. But he insisted on eating it. And making funny faces. He exclaimed that he was eating it because it kind of tasted like some sort of weird health food. His exact statement was, "anything this bad must be good for me." Well, ladies and gentlemen, that pretty much sums it up. No offense to the wonderful Dorie (and she is beyond wonderful), but custard just isn't for me.


If you'd like to try the recipe yourself, it can be found on Bridget's blog The Way The Cookie Crumbles.

22 comments:

Elyse said...

I'm more of a cake and cookies girl myself. Unless that pudding is going into a cake, or the custard is part of a cream filling, I'm not necessarily interested in making those types of recipe (although, there are some exceptions). I'm sorry that this recipe confirmed your suspicions about custardy desserts. Your husband sounds hysterical, though!

Sabrina said...

I felt the same way!! ICK!
But I think yours look so pretty in those red custard cups!
Well at least we tried! :)

Maria said...

Sorry it wasn't a winner. Love the red dishes though:)

Cathy said...

LOL!!! Let's see, where to begin? First, I'm totally a cake & cookies kind of girl too. If I'm going to use up the calories, put some flour in mine, please. Second, baking is a contact sport for me as well. Third, you really do need at least three hands to pull off the strain/whisk/pour part of this. Fourth, I didn't like this either. I think it's awesome that your hubby kept eating it though! And I say yay for us for trying this -- it's definitely fun to broaden those baking horizons, even if they can't all be favorites.

Karen said...

That is hilarious that your husband put himself through that. It is always a little frustrating to bake something and have it turn out yuck. At least you have adorable custard cups!! Love those!

chocolatechic said...

Sorry you didn't like it.

It didn't sound good to me either.

vibi said...

Love the ramequins! And the photo sequence is very nice!

P.s.: I would call that reaction: tasting torture! Frankly... I would rather he didn't eat it. LOL LOL LOL ...poor Melissa! I'm sorry you guys turned out not to like them...

pinkstripes said...

I love your husband's statement! I'm glad you made the custards even though you were hesitant about making them. Here's to next week!

Teanna said...

Hahaha your husband is too funny!!! All in the name of science, I guess! Great post!

Pamela said...

LOL about your husband still eating it! Too much! I'm all about the cake and the cookies, as you know from my blog! And I always end up zesting some part of my fingers, too. At least you tried it, though! It looked pretty in the red cups.

Jill said...

I'm laughing at your husband's "weird health food" comment! At least you tried - I chickened out on this one. Your red dishes are really pretty!

Shari@Whisk: a food blog said...

I'm going to try making caramel and drizzling that on top. I love creme caramel, and the slight lemon flavor might be nice.

Heather said...

i'm more of a cookie/cake girl, too. but every now and then, a custard or pudding comes up that gets my attention. this one sounds so vibrant and delicious - i'm so bummed to hear it didn't live up to its looks. icky desserts make me sad :(

Jessica said...

I will definitely second the cookies and cake thing. I've skipped all of the other recipes in this section of the book! I'm sorry that you two didn't like it. Your husband's comment that it must be good for him if it's that bad is too funny!

n.o.e said...

Well, good job on trying the recipe at least! I'm an equal opportunity dessert eater. Cookies and cakes? yes, please. Spoon desserts? love 'em. I didn't even think these were eggy; who knows how that all works? The next three recipes should be right up your alley; we loved the cake for next week. And the cookies were scrumptious, even though I usually don't go for coconut.
Nancy

Donna-FFW said...

Unfortunate you didnt enjoy it.. however, your pictures are truly wonderful and the dishes are gorgeous!

CookingCourtney said...

i wish i like custard, it always tastes SOO eggy and gross to me!

TeaLady said...

He is a really good hubby to keep eating. Sorry y'all didn't care for it. You have to be a custard lover to really like it. Maybe the next time. But they look great in those red cupsl

Erin said...

Sorry you didn't like it, but it still looks great!

Megan said...

That's too funny about your husband - but you took some great pictures!

farah said...

I'm sorry you didn't like it. Good job on giving it a go though. I made the vanilla version and really liked it.

Steph said...

Sometimes I do that too. When I make something really bad, I keep eating it. It has to do more with making me feel not as bad about it I think..hahah