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Thursday, 10 September 2009

The wonder of custard

So, this evening has offered up a custard-based meal: a leek and gruyere quiche followed by homemade banana icecream. The latter is still churning away contentedly in the background whilst I write...

The quiche was the product of yesterday's efforts. Mr. Fork had been down to Broadway Market, our local weekly open-air extravaganza, on Saturday, and came away with half-a-dozen slim, creamy-white tipped leeks. I sauteed them in butter until they were soft and catching ever-so-slightly to the bottom of the pan. Then I added them to a mixture of 250ml double cream, three eggs and 130g of grated gruyere (plus S & P). I lined a fluted tart case (25 cm in diameter) with shortcrust pastry and blind baked it for about ten minutes. Then, I smeared the bottom of the crust with grainy mustard, poured in the custard and baked the whole thing for about 25 minutes. Mr. Fork pronounced it the best quiche he'd ever eaten. Personally, I prefer a quiche lorraine, but he's a vegetarian, so it may well have been the best he's ever had.

Now, I'm not one for puddings too often, but sometimes I have an insatiable hunger in my sweet stomach that simply refuses to be satisfied by another half glass of wine. Friends recently gifted Mr. F and me a lovely icecream maker (a Magimix Le Glacier 1.1), which has had a cataclysmic impact on my consumption of cream-and-sugar based foodstuffs. Despite being all out of cream (as a result of quiche-making), and having almost consumed my weekly egg allowance (how many is it nowadays anyway?) I couldn't resist attempting to whip up some banana icecream from the following:

2 perfectly ripe bananas
A tin of condensed milk
2 x the volume of the tin in milk
3 egg yolks
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch of sea salt

I heated the condensed milk and the milk together until just below boiling and then took it off the heat. The condensed milk had browned a little, infusing the milk with a caramelly flavour and sheen, and dispersing small pieces of caramel throughout. I let it cool slightly and then poured it on to the egg yolks, which I'd whisked til frothy with the vanilla. Then I heated this mixture to 80 degrees (using a "candy" thermometer given to us by some other lovely friends) and mashed the bananas, finally combining the two. The final mixture (with the salt added at the end) went into the freezer in a jug to cool asap (I'm impatient), and is now being churned to perfection courtesy of Monsieur Le Glacier.

I'll report back on the finished product tomorrow if the gout doesn't get me first.

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