2.13.2013

butterscotch pot de crème

I have one of the very best desserts ever for you today.
Perfect to make for your Valentine (or just because).

A pot de crème (pounced po-de-krem) is a loose custard that is baked, similar to a creme brulee. 
(And wikipedia says it dates back to the 17th century!)
They are decadent and rich and served individually in ramekins.  
I especially like them for entertaining, because they are served chilled,
 so you can make them ahead of time and then break them out of the fridge after dinner. 

This specific recipe is even BETTER because it starts by making a rich, sweet butterscotch and then incorporating it into the custard.

I know it all sounds fancy and a little difficult, but trust me, it's not.
Just take your time and follow each step closely and you'll be very satisfied with the results. 

butterscotch pot de crème
Source:  Piece of Cake
Serves:  6

Ingredients:
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 4 T. unsalted butter
  • 1/2 C. firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • 1/2 vanilla bean (Split it lengthwise and scrape out the inside. Use the flecks from the inside, toss the shell.)
  • 2 1/3 C. heavy cream
  • Caramel sauce (I just used a store-bought jar) for topping
  • Flaky sea salt for topping

Directions:
  1. Position oven rack to center of oven and preheat it to 325 degrees.
  2. Set 6 small ramekins (or coffee cups if you don't have ramekins) in a small roasting pan.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk egg yolks until smooth. I use my mixer for this because it will make it easier later on. You can do it by hand too.
  4. In a medium sauce pan over medium heat, melt the butter, brown sugar, and vanilla bean flecks. Whisk often until mixture becomes smooth.
  5. Cook until butter and sugar mixture begins to caramelize, darkening in color and smelling nutty, about 3 to 4 minutes.
  6. Carefully and slowly whisk in the cream. Don't freak out - the caramel will seize and bubble fiercely at first, but will calm down and smooth out once it's all whisked in.
  7. Stir it often and bring it to a simmer. Then remove it form the heat.
  8. Whisk a small amount of the hot cream into the egg yolks - just a couple spoonfuls at first. Then gradually whisk in remaining hot cream. You want to do a little of the cream at a time so you don't cook the eggs with the hot cream. You want a silky custard, not scrambled eggs. (I use my mixer on low for this to make sure it's all mixed really well. You can do it by hand too).
  9. When the custard is smooth, pour it through a sieve placed over a heat-proof measuring cup. (The measuring cup will make it easier to pour into the ramekins).
  10. Pour the custard evenly into each ramekin.
  11. Slide out the oven rack and place the roasting pan with the pots de crème on the rack.
  12. Fill the roasting pan with hot water, about half way up the ramekins. Be careful not to splash water into the custards. Slide rack back into place.
  13. Bake custard until they are set but still jiggle a little when tapped. About 30 to 40 minutes depending on depth of ramekins.
  14. Let cool on counter for five minutes before covering loosely with plastic wrap. Refrigerate until thoroughly chilled, about 3 to 4 hours.
  15. Serve slightly chilled with a drizzle of caramel sauce and a pinch of sea salt. (How cute would it be to put the caramel sauce in the shape of a heart for Valentine's Day?)
The pots ready for the oven!

These might be one of the best things I've ever made.
Little pots of Heaven.
Enjoy!
xoxo,
K

{photos by me}
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