Tuesday, March 10, 2009
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.
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.