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Vanilla Bean Pots de Creme

What do you do when you have just a little bit of heavy cream sitting in your fridge? I didn’t feel like making scones, or butter, or whipped cream, or using it in my coffee. So I hit the Internet to look for a recipe. Someday, I’ll get around to making up my own recipes, but for now, there are so many fabulous recipes online that I want to try first!

I ended up at Alexandra Cooks and my crazy kitchen experiment for Wednesday was to make pots de creme. My husband, Josh, had a root canal on Wednesday after work, and I wanted to make him something special. Yes, this ended up being a dessert just for us adults! I made it up to my kids yesterday by making them vanilla bean yogurt with oreo cookie crumbs for dessert after dinner.

Actually, the real reason we couldn’t share with the kids: not enough heavy cream to make the whole recipe! I had to halve the recipe I used because I only had 1¼ cups of heavy cream instead of the full 2½ cups needed for the full recipe.

I love my canister of vanilla sugar. I just replenished this with fresh vanilla beans two weeks ago so it was ready to be used. Since there were plenty of lovely bean flecks in the sugar, I skipped adding the seeds of one vanilla bean to the cream and milk. I also used one of the whole beans in the canister to steep in the cream and milk mixture for an hour.

My four mismatching ramekins. Alexandra mentions Weck jars in her blog post and I have seen those before. I eventually want to buy some just for using for desserts! A note: the white ramekins worked better than the glass ones. The glass ones were a tad bit too big I think.

I heated the milk, cream and about half the sugar to about 100 degrees F. The recipe says until hot to the touch. Hopefully, 100 degrees F wasn’t too high. Then, I covered the pot and let it sit for about an hour. Then, I tempered the egg yolks with the rewarmed cream mixture and whisked everything together in a glass measuring cup. I did strain the mixture through a mesh strainer into another bowl, but the mixture didn’t really seem to need it. I’m assuming the mesh strainer is to catch any possible cooked egg.

Here are my filled ramekins in a square glass pan, which is then set on top of a cookie sheet. I then proceeded to do something a little crazy!

One of these things is not like the other, one of these things just isn’t the same! I wrapped one of the ramekins with plastic wrap so I could check when the pots de creme were set without having to take foil off. I was afraid it would melt in the oven but it didn’t. Yes, it got a little bit misshapen after baking, but it didn’t stick to anything or collapse into an awful mess.

I kept these in the oven for about 50 minutes. They actually never really looked like they were set in the oven. I made the mistake once of expecting a custard cake to look set in the oven after baking but I ended up ruining it. So out these came whether or not they looked set. I was hoping they would set once they cooled and were put in the fridge. And they did!

There was a little bit of skin on top. I should have pressed plastic wrap onto the top of each of these like I do when I make custard.

These are awful pics, but you can tell the pots de creme are definitely not liquid anymore after about 8 hours in the fridge. Phew! And… the verdict! These are so good but probably so bad for you! I think these are a lot like custard, but they were more velvety than custard.  They are a lovely dessert that I will definitely make again and I can see making many different kinds of flavors! Passionfruit vanilla pots de creme anyone?


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