Baked custards with poached pears
( SERVES 4 )
Photo by Tam West
I love the lightness of baked custards. They are so easy to make, it is just a matter of sorting out the cooking time for your oven. In mine, 15 minutes is perfect.
|1½ cups||Whole milk|
|4||Kaffir lime leaves, bruised|
|1||Lemongrass stem, white part only, bruised|
|½||Vanilla bean, split, or use 1 tsp of vanilla extract|
|4 Tbsp||Caster sugar|
- Heat the oven to 160C. Lightly oil 4 x 1-cup capacity teacups or ramekins. Place a tea towel in the base of a deep baking dish and place teacups on top.
- Place the milk, kaffir lime leaves, lemongrass and vanilla bean into a saucepan and bring to scalding point. Remove from the heat and leave for 20 minutes to infuse and cool.
- Lightly whisk the eggs, egg yolks and sugar together. Stir into the infused milk. Strain into a jug and pour evenly among the 4 teacups.
- Pour enough boiling water into the baking dish to come halfway up the sides of the teacups.
- Place in the oven and bake for 15 minutes or until just set. They should be slightly wobbly in the middle. Remove the custards immediately from the baking dish to arrest further cooking and leave to cool before serving, topped with passionfruit and toasted coconut chips, if using.
- Place the water, wine and sugar in a saucepan and place over a low heat. Cook until the sugar has dissolved, then bring up to the boil. Add the flavourings.
- Reduce the heat to low, slip in the prepared pears and cover with a piece of baking paper, then the lid. Simmer pears for 15-20 minutes or until they are just tender. Remove from the heat and leave to cool in their liquid.