Long summer nights are definitely not good for my eating habits. I stay up longer and end up eating more food, and eating it later. On the other hand, my kids are in heaven. With dessert at 10pm, I’ve earned the title “best mom in the world” this summer. Though I’m sure this will shortly be revoked… at the latest by the time school starts.
Anyways, last night was a great night to bake something yummy and sweet to end a perfect day. After rummaging through the fridge I settled on custard and wanted to see if I could simplify the process of making this delicious dessert by baking it in a water bath. Yes, I know, what exactly is a water bath?! Most everyone shuns new techniques, especially ones that sound a little odd. But this water bath is so simple that there’s no reason to be intimidated.
Custard is a cooked mixture of milk or cream and eggs that have been part of European cuisine since the Middle Ages. Depending on how much egg or thickener is used, custards vary in consistency from a thin pouring sauce (crème anglaise), to a thick pastry cream used for tart and pastry fillings. The most common custards are used as desserts or dessert sauces and typically include sugar and vanilla. A custard is usually cooked in a double boiler, though custard can also be steamed or baked in the oven with or without a water bath. Custard preparation is a delicate operation, because a slight temperature increase can easily lead to overcooking and curdling. A water bath slows heat transfer and makes it easier to remove the custard from the oven before it curdles. It’s important to make sure the water bath is hot when placed in the oven; therefore the Aroma electric kettle comes in handy for some hot water in no time.
For the custard:
1/2 cup of low-fat milk
4 tsp of sugar
1/2 tsp of vanilla
For the berry compote:
1/2 cup mixed berries of your choice
1 tbsp of fresh mint, chopped
1 tbsp of lemon juice
sprinkle of sugar
Set your oven to 400º F and lightly mist your containers with cooking spray to avoid the custard from sticking to the sides of them. Fill your Aroma electric kettle with water and turn it on.
In a bowl whisk all custard ingredients together and pour into your greased containers 3/4 the way full. Place the filled containers in a roasting pan and fill the pan with boiling water from your Aroma electric kettle so it reaches half way up the sides of your containers. Carefully place the roasting pan in the oven and cook for 20 minutes or until set. Remove from oven water bath and let cool.
Mix all berry compote ingredients together and let sit for 10 minutes to mull the flavors. Spread the berry compote on top of the custard and serve.
Over to You
What’s your version of custard? Share and inspire us!