Sunday, October 7, 2012

paw paw creme brulée

A celebratory dessert.

Mark is back and I had paw paws, what more do we need for a celebration?  I took my inspiration from Leda's custard, and after combing the web and synthesizing a few recipes, came up with this one.  It's a keeper!
To make the purée, slice each paw paw in half and scoop out the flesh.  The seeds are large and apparently challenging to propagate.  (I have sent them to Sara, Propagation Goddess.)  The fruit clings to the seeds quite tenaciously, but if you slice through it with a fingernail, you can peel the jacket of paw paw off the seed.
Put the flesh in a food processor and purée till it's perfectly smooth; you'll need a cup for this recipe.  Paw paw purée freezes well...in case you have extra.

Paw Paw Creme Brulée

- Combine 2 cups heavy cream with 2 tablespoons bourbon and bring just barely to a boil.  Remove from heat.

- Whisk 2/3 cup sugar and 1/8 tsp. salt into 5 egg yolks.

- Add the heated cream mixture to the eggs, a little at a time, whisking constantly.  (This is called tempering the eggs and the goal is to raise the temperature of the eggs without cooking them.  If you add too much hot liquid, too quickly, the eggs will cook and solidify rather than form a silky, thickened liquid.)

- Stir in 1 cup of paw paw purée and combine thoroughly.

- Pour the custard into ramekins and place the ramekins in a shallow pan.  Fill the pan with water to within a half inch of the top of the ramekins and bake at 350F for about 30 minutes.  The tops of the custards should look jiggly when you pull them out...not entirely solid.

- Refrigerate overnight or for at least 4-6 hours.

- Before serving, sprinkle a layer of sugar on top of each custard (about 1 Tbs. per ramekin).  Then, using a small torch, melt the sugar and let it cool (briefly!) to form that glassy, sweet topping that cracks so satisfyingly under a gentle whap from your spoon.

Do not kid yourself thinking there will be leftovers and you might save one custard for breakfast.






7 Comments:

At October 7, 2012 at 9:11 PM , Blogger Sweetgum Thursday said...

Girl. I barely have time to get the tomatoes home and eat them raw. You are something else with your pawpaw brulee. Have been out of touch with blog thing for a while..how goes the book?

 
At October 8, 2012 at 6:55 AM , Blogger Ellen Zachos said...

Hello Sweetgum! The book is due out in March with the title Backyard Foraging. I'm pretty psyched and finding it hard to wait! And yet I must...

 
At October 8, 2012 at 1:45 PM , Anonymous Leda Meredith said...

I love creme brulee, and I love pawpaw custard, but, alas, do not (yet) have a suitable small torch. Just when I thought I'd talked myself out of buying any more kitchen gadgets, lol...

 
At October 8, 2012 at 7:41 PM , Blogger Sara said...

GORGEOUS, and I can't wait till my paw paw grove matures and bears fruit!

Thanks for sending seed... and for nominating me Propagation Goddess. (I accept.) That might even be better than Queen of the Dead (and Dormant). I can put all those on my LinkedIn profile, right?

Congrats on the wild success. We did grape sorbet with Concord grapes last week - also *very* clingy to the fruit. I bet your flame-detailed KitchenAid could do this - I used the Cuisinart with the dough blade to mush the fruit, without pulverizing the seed... The grapes were so sweet, they didn't even need sugar - just a squeeze of lemon. When I shall have extra paw paw purée...

 
At October 9, 2012 at 9:23 AM , Blogger frank@nycg said...

I could say Paw Paw all day.
Also, creme brulee

 
At October 9, 2012 at 10:15 AM , Anonymous Mark said...

I can tell you all it was splendid! Surprising and sooooo good. Leda: maybe no torch is required. Cooks Illustrated has a technique whereby you roll the sugar in a ziplock with a rolling pin and get it quite fine, making it much faster to caramelize under a broiler. Never tried it, but they are no usually wrong.

Everyone: plant the noble paw paw!

 
At October 11, 2012 at 10:33 PM , Anonymous Wedding dresses said...

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