Ahhh… cream. Whenever a recipe calls for it, I dutifully buy it, use the required two tablespoons and then stare at the cool little carton of thick, enticing creamy stuff and wonder, what on Earth should I do with you now?
Or I did, until one day, determined to use up extra cream and the last bits of a bottle of rum from a party that may have taken place in a previous decade, I hit up Google. And Google gave me this wonderful gift: Vanilla-Rum Custard from Saveur.
Except, the recipe wanted four cups of cream, which was something like four time as much as I had. And I definitely didn’t have a spare vanilla bean lying around. But! I had yogurt and some extra eggs, and some nutmeg so, you know, I figured I was nearly there.
I’ve never sampled the Saveur recipe made to Saveur’s specifications. I’m sure it’s amazing. But my scattershot version was also delicious. It had a consistency something like flan and an amazing rich, spicy flavor that kept luring my spoon back to the dish.
I’ve made it a number of times now, each time working with what I had. My spinoff, laissez faire recipe is quite foolproof. While the ratios and ingredients may vary, resulting in a spectrum of textures and flavors, virtually any outcome will be a yummy one. I’ve found it can also be a great way to experiment with sweet spices you don’t use terribly often. I’ve used pumpkin pie spice and would consider cardamom, allspice and cloves. Once, hoping for something approximating green tea ice cream, I dumped in a bunch of matcha powder. It didn’t come out quite as I expected. “What flavor do you think it is?” I proudly asked my husband, hoping it would transport him back to our frequent outings for green tea ice cream as teenagers. He scooped some into his mouth and looked at me quizzically. “Spinach?” Still, he ate every last bit of it, so we declared it a success.
And another bonus — while cream is certainly essential, my version of the recipe is built around eggs and yogurt too, so I feel completely OK pairing the custard with some fruit for a protein-filled, indulgent breakfast. Good morning!Print