Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Plumilicious Honey-Almond Custard

At some point in the last week I was wide awake at 1:34 in the morning tweeting my heart out. The thing about Twitter at such a late hour is that absolutely no one is on. The thing about me at such a late hour is that I don't care if no one is on. I tend to get a little nutty and lose my filter, which means that I don't need a live audience for my late night insanity. I'm perfectly content to put it out there and let others scratch their heads while they try to wake up over their morning coffee. I'm telling you this because some of you might have noticed my impromptu cookie song and my threat to write another one.

See, when I'm overtired and wide awake, I tend to focus on something and go on and on about it. This often ends in the writing of really bad songs. Here's a perfect example. For those of you not in the know, law students spend a week or so at the end of their first year participating in a really obnoxious process where, in hopes of gaining a position on a law journal, they write a short case note and hardcore edit, including legal citations, some portion of an intentionally screwed up article. Just off of finals, I began work on my packet, only to become incredibly tired, stressed out and delusional. I wrote a song. I went around mumbling, "My name is annie and I am citin'..." and doing a little dance. I don't remember the rest. And my name isn't Annie, but the "ie" sound gets the point across. But I do know my friends made fun of me for it.

If you missed my cookie song, here it is. Someone begins singing/screaming cookiecookiecookiecookieCOOKIEEEEEEEEEE. And then there's a hardcore guitar riff. And then someone starts to sing, "Chocolate chip, peanut butter, white chocolate macadamia NUT. Cookies will get you out of a rut. Mix and stir and plop on the sheet, wonderful smells of cookies cooking can't be beat." And the chorus follows. "I like cookies, yes I do. I like cookies when I'm blue. Definitely more than you." The song is in the genre of old school East Bay pop punk.

So, um, the point of this is to tell you how much I wanted cookies this past week. The problem with cookies is that you can't eat just one or two--you need three cookies for a cup of milk. It's the perfect ratio--I swear. But summer has finally descended on Los Angeles, which means that turning on the oven is not an option. So I had to make something else to soothe my sweet tooth. So tonight I made Plumilicious Honey-Almond Custard* inspired by my need to use the massive bowl of Italian prune plums in the house. It begins with a layer of plum slices, lightly sprinkled with cinnamon sugar and then quickly roasted under the broiler. I used the toaster oven, so no heat issues occurred. Then, I topped the plums with a generous layer of honey-almond custard, followed by a plum slice and a bit of almond plum compote. Then it went back under the broiler for a few minutes. The best part about this dish aside from its deliciousness? It's only about 160 calories and is low in fat. A tasty dessert I don't feel guilty about eating? Hell yeah.

*Named by Miss Sara of Caffeiiina and seconded by Miss Amanda of The Cilantropist.

Plumilicious Honey-Almond Custard
Serves 6

1.5 cup milk
4 large egg yolks
4 Tbsp. honey
2 tsp. cornstarch
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 tsp. almond extract
2 Tbsp. sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon
10 almonds, chopped
6 Italian prune plums

Adapted from Eating Well

1. In a bowl, whisk together egg yolks, honey, cornstarch, vanilla and almond extracts.

2. Heat milk on the stove until steaming, but not boiling. Gradually add milk to egg mixture, whisking continuously to prevent scrambled eggs.

3. When thoroughly mixed, return to saucepan and heat on medium. Whisk continuously until custard is slightly thickened and beginning to bubble--about 2 minutes. Remove from stove and let cool for about 45 minutes.

4. Pit and slice plums--they make about 4 full slices, with partial slices & the ends left over. Cover bottom of ramekins with full slices (about 3 each). Mix cinnamon with sugar. Sprinkle half of it over the plums. Set aside.

5. Reserving one full plum slice for the top of each ramekin, take the rest of the plum pieces and chop. Mix with the chopped almonds and 2/3 of the remaining cinnamon sugar. Heat in a saucepan on low until juices are flowing and fruit is softened. Taste and adjust for sweetness.

6. When custard is cool, place ramekins under broiler for about 8 minutes, until plum slices have softened. Being careful of the heat, spread custard evenly between ramekins. Top each ramekin with a slice of plum. Sprinkle the remaining cinnamon sugar over the top plum slices. Place back under broiler for approximately 5 minutes.

7. Top each plum with some of the almond-plum chutney. Serve warm.



YUM! It looks addictive!

islandeat said...

Hi, BB. This looks tasty and very creative.

You sure do tweet up a storm on diverse topics (from politics to pudding, or is that cabbages and kings?). What I'm trying to ascertain is, exactly what is the right tweetin' balance - not too little, not too often??



Angie's Recipes said...

Yummy! The custard looks so creamy and tender.

savy cook said...

Looks amazing! gr8 pics:)

May Ling Wu said...

Seems so simple yet elegant.

Jan said...

I heart custard! These look great!

sara @ CaffeIna said...

After all our sweet talks on twitter last night I dreamt about plums and custard and woke up with terrible cravings. I told you, I have to stop being on twitter at night...unless of course I'm with you and I can eat this wonderful goody.

mysimplefood said...

Note to self : Must make these :)

Victoria K. said...

This looks like a great substitute for cookies when you can't bake some :) yum!!

Evan @swEEts said...

Looks like a perfect little dessert to me! Plums are not utilized enough!

Joy said...

I totally understand the need for something. I have been craving a brownie for weeks!!! I caved in and got a box version so I could have brownies already.

Monet said...

I only wish I was up that late to read your tweets. I couldn't sleep last night, and I should have gotten on. This looks like a great way to quell a sweet tooth. I am in the mood for some custard just about now!

Tanantha @ I Just Love My Apron said...

I used stay up SO late but not any more as I'm getting old? haha. I'm still up late but not that late as I used to. Love your sense of humor for the songs :) The custard looks absolutely delicious. The plum is a great touch!

bb's mom said...

so that's what you are doing when you are up soooooooo late!!!!!!! i would like you to sing me that song later tonight though.

baking.serendipity said...

I haven't caked to the world of Twitter yet. I suppose it's only a matter of time though... :) These custards look amazing! Plums are the perfect addition...delicious!

Debbie said...

very unique and different!

Torviewtoronto said...

delicious custard fruits in it :)

A Little Yumminess said...

Oh Boy!! I want some of this now....

Jean said...

Wow, Ms. Creative, this looks great. Can't beat delicious and low-cal at the same time. Hard to do sometimes.

Like the name!

Chef Dennis said...

your plum custard sounds so good!! and I would love to see a You tube video of your cookie song, so get it into production!! who knew custard could be low cal, great job!!

The Cilantropist said...

So I am a little late to this party (craaaazy week!), but I am LOVING this post nonetheless. Hmmm... do you think it would be possible for us to get a live recording of this new hit single "The Cookie Song?" I'm with Chef Dennis, lets get a You Tube video going for your musical debut! :D

Thanks for the shout-out for helping you to name this totally awesome dessert of deliciousness, obviously only the late-night Twitter brains of three creative bloggers could come up with such a wonderful name. ;)

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