Co­conut and Jag­gery Cus­tard with Cashews

SERVES 4; Photo pg. 76

SAVEUR - - Contents -

Ac­tive: 15 min. • To­tal: 1 hr. 15 min. This spiced steamed cus­tard dessert is ubiq­ui­tous in Sri Lanka. Be sure to beat the eggs well, as the in­cor­po­rated air will help pre­vent cur­dling when they’re tem­pered with the hot co­conut milk and melted jag­gery.

6 large eggs ¾ packed cup plus 1 Tbsp. jag­gery, di­vided 4 car­damom pods 2 whole cloves ½ cup co­conut milk 1 tsp. pure vanilla ex­tract ¼ tsp. freshly grated nut­meg Pinch of salt 8 cashew halves

1 Set a roast­ing pan half­way filled with wa­ter on the floor of the oven. Set a rack in the cen­ter and pre­heat the oven to 225°.

2 Mean­while, in a large bowl, whisk the eggs un­til very well mixed and airy, 30 sec­onds to a minute. Set aside.

3 In a small, heavy-bot­tomed sau­cepan, com­bine the jag­gery, car­damom, and cloves. Cook over medium heat, stir­ring fre­quently, un­til the jag­gery melts and bub­bles. Re­move from the heat, and tak­ing care to avoid splat­ters, whisk the co­conut milk into the hot mix­ture. Con­tinue to whisk un­til smooth, then strain to re­move the car­damom and cloves.

4 Whisk the eggs well once more, then slowly driz­zle the jag­gery mix­ture into the eggs, whisk­ing con­stantly and rapidly to keep the eggs from cur­dling. Strain the mix­ture again if nec­es­sary to get rid of any ex­cess foam. Stir in the vanilla, nut­meg, and a pinch of salt, and di­vide the mix­ture evenly be­tween four 6-ounce ramekins. Trans­fer them to a shal­low roast­ing pan and pour enough warm wa­ter into the roast­ing pan to reach about 1 inch up the sides.

5 Trans­fer to the oven and bake un­til the cus­tards look set but still jig­gle slightly when shaken, 50–60 min­utes. (You can test for done­ness with a tooth­pick, which should emerge clean.) Re­move and im­me­di­ately top each por­tion with two cashew halves. Let cool and serve at room tem­per­a­ture or chilled.

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