In the world of food, Pam Anderson is not the bombshell blonde sex symbol. She is a cookbook author. Her most recent cookbook is The Perfect Recipe for Losing Weight and Eating Great, which I just ordered myself.
She had a few recipes featured in Food and Wine Magazine recently and this one caught my eye. It was a rewarding little recipe.
The components are all easy to prepare. In fact, you could do what I did. I made the candied orange peels one day, and the next day I made the custard. While it cooked I whipped-up the whipped cream! By the way, the whipped cream wasn't in the original recipe - it sure doesn't help to lose weight. But I used a small amount!
I love the flavor. It tastes like caramel, with hints of orange coming from the zest in the recipe. The whipped cream on top has Cointreau in it, expanding on the orange flavor in the custard. It's topped with yet another layer of orange, the candied peels.
Brown Sugar Custards with Cointreau Cream
Adapted from Pam Anderson (in Food and Wine Magazine)
1 3/4 cups 2 percent evaporated milk
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 large egg yolk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon grated orange zest
Whipped Cream Ingredients (Whipped Cream is optional!)
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons Cointreau
candied orange peel for garnish
For the Custard
Preheat the oven to 325°.
Combine the evaporated milk and brown sugar. Add it to a saucepan with the heat on medium. Stir occasionally so the sugar dissolves while you bring the mixture to a simmer. Be careful not to boil it.
In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs, egg yolk, vanilla and orange zest.
You will need to combine the hot mixture with the eggs. But if you were to simply add the heated milk and sugar mixture to the egg mixture, you would cook the eggs and they would clump. The way to avoid the egg cooking is to only put in a small amount of the milk and sugar mixture into the eggs and stir while you add that small amount. Mix it up, and then add another small amount of the milk and sugar mixture. By doing this, the egg mixture heats up and distributes so that it won't clump and cook when you add the rest of the heated ingredients.
Once combined, strain the custard through a sieve to catch any solids that may have occurred anyway.
Place four small ramekins in a baking dish or roasting pan. Pour the custard into the ramekins. Add enough hot water to the baking dish to reach halfway up the sides of the ramekins.
Remove the ramekins from the pan and water. I used a set of tongs. Place them on a cooling rack and let them cool for at least 1/2 hour.
Cover the custards with plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, at least 3 hours.
Garnish with the optional Cointreau-flavored whipped cream and candied orange peels.
For the Whipped Cream
Place the cold cream in a medium bowl. Mix on high till whipped. Add sugar and mix again. Add Cointreau and mix again. Refrigerate until ready to use.