I have some exciting news. Soon I’ll have my own radio show where I’ll talk about food. Well, it won’t be my quite my own. I’ll be co-hosting a show with fellow co-worker, foodie and friend, Matthew.
He and I have been talking about food for going on three years now, since we first met because of the proximity of our cubicles – right next to each other. We haven’t stopped talking about food since. We’ve actually always wanted to do some sort of a show, and we always imagined it would be video clips I could play on my blog. But the opportunity has arisen where some friends of mine are starting their own radio station and happen to need shows to fill some air space. Matthew was ecstatic when I asked him if he wanted in and he suggested we do a show together.
So I met with my co-host and the producers this afternoon so we could test out our on-air presence and rapport. And one of the things we ended up chit-chatting about was egg yolks versus corn starch as a thickening agent – this was in regard to ice-cream. We both agreed that corn starch is a poor thickening agent for ice-cream because it lends a sandy texture, but I’ll extend that to puddings and custards, where egg yolks are the clear winner. (If you want to hear our promo for our show, wherein we were discussing pastrami – I had no clue what it was, click here.)
Coincidentally, I decided to make some custard tonight using egg yolks, about-to-spoil milk and leftover caramel. Recipe adapted from Smitten Kitchen’s recipe for Vanilla Custard with Roasted Blueberries. (Her recipe is adapted from Julia Child’s.)
- 2 c. whole milk
- 6 large egg yolks
- 1/2 c. granulated sugar
- 6 T. flour
- 2 T. butter
- 1 1/4 c. caramel*
*I used leftover caramel from my Homemade Caramel Apples. You could probably use any homemade caramel sauce (or store-bought if you’re not into making your own).
- Heat the milk in a glass measuring cup with a pour spout on high until it is warm, about two minutes. Set aside.
- In the bottom of a medium saucepan, whisk the egg yolks and sugar vigorously, until it pales in color and a ribbon of batter falls from the whisk when you lift it from the bowl. This will take a few minutes. Alternatively you can do this much faster using an electric mixer. Whisk in the flour until completely blended.
- Pour a small amount of warm milk into the egg yolk mixture until fully incorporated. Repeat several times until the egg yolk mixture has thinned out and you’ve used up all the milk. (Once the egg yolk mixture has thinned a bit you can pour the remaining amount of milk into the egg yolk mixture in a thin stream, whisking constantly.)
- Place the saucepan on the stove and heat it over medium-high heat, whisking constantly, until it begins to bubble. Once bubbling, whisk for 1 or 2 more minutes.
- Remove from the heat and immediately stir in butter and caramel until combined.
- Press the mixture through a fine-mesh strainer (by using a wooden spoon or your whisk) into individual serving dishes. Your custard will cool down significantly while doing this, but as a precaution you can press Saran wrap over the custard in order to prevent a skin from forming as it continues to cool.
- Refrigerate until ready to eat. Sprinkle with sea salt right before serving. Eat within the first few days after making.
Some people might decide to skip the step of pushing the custard through a fine-sieve mesh but you really ought not skip this step or you’ll end up with chunky bits and pieces in your custard. I’m all about being lazy and taking short cuts when it comes to cooking but wouldn’t recommend that in this instance.
This custard has amazing flavor and texture – especially the first few bites that are flecked with salt. Any caramel lover will love this silky dessert.