This week’s Tuesdays with Dorie’s recipe is a Lemon Cup Custard found on page 387 of Dorie Greenspan’s book Baking From My Home to Yours. The recipe is so simple it has only four ingredients – whole milk, eggs, sugar and lemon zest. That leaves lots of room for a creative combination of flavorings – lemon and clove, orange and star anise, espresso and cinnamon and many more.
Custards have gone by the wayside since rich and creamy crème brûlées made their appearance a few years ago. Having indulged in many a crème brûlée, their cream-laden fat components lingering in my mouth and later on my hips, this custard was in stark contrast. Made with whole milk instead of cream, it tripped off my tongue without leaving much of an impression. For my spoiled tongue, this custard needed lots of added flavor, much more than called for in the recipe.
Ms. Greenspan describes the custard as ‘silky’ and ‘lithe’. True. It is very light and fragile in structure without the binding force of fat. But the benefit to this custard is that it has far fewer calories than a crème brûlée. And that’s HUGE! Cream has ten times more fat than whole milk. If you’re counting calories, this is a good alternative.
I chose to stick to the original recipe for the most part. The hot milk and lemon zest smelled lovely together. Instead of lemon oil, I added 1/2 teaspoon of my own home-made ‘Limecello’ (Limoncello made with limes – I’ll share the recipe soon). Next time I’ll add more – maybe a tablespoon or so.
For fun, I caramelized slices of star fruit for the top. Star fruit is also known as Carambola and is native to India, Sri Lanka and Indonesia. It now grows in the tropics all over the world and throughout south east Asia. I like it because it is very juicy and not too sweet. It has a light citrus flavor and is loaded with antioxidants and vitamin C.
To caramelize the star fruit, prepare it following the directions in the link above, then slice into 1/4 inch pieces. Pat dry with a paper towel. Sprinkle with sugar. With a kitchen torch, heat the sugar until it starts to burn.