Tuesday, March 10, 2009
TWD: Lemon Cup Custard - and - Caramel-Topped Flan
I did something new yesterday. I finally sat down and counted the recipes in Dorie Greenspan's book, "Baking: From my Home to Yours". It's surprising I haven't done this yet, since I'm a sorter and organizer and counter of things.
Maybe I hadn't done it because if I knew how many recipes there were, I wouldn't have joined the Tuesday's with Dorie group. It's a daunting task, baking your way through an entire cookbook. Baking Every. Single. Recipe.
Now that I'm forty recipes in, I guess it's safe to say I'm committed to the effort.
By my count, there are 208 recipes, not including variations. I think I missed a few, but still, we're talking roughly 4 years to get through the cookbook (at one recipe per week). OK, so we'll be done at the end of 2011! Wow.
I wonder how many folks will be left standing at the end. How many people will be able to say "I baked EVERY recipe from that book", or even "I baked almost every recipe from that book".
I hope to be one of them. But to do that, not only do I have to stay the course, but I also have to make up the recipes done before I started the group last May.
That's why you're seeing a custardy friend hanging out with my Lemon Cup Custard, this week's recipe, chosen by Bridget of The Way the Cookie Crumbles. Readers, meet Caramel-Topped Flan.
I was glad for the opportunity to compare and contrast the two different types of custard. Although the base was similar, the flavoring was quite different. For the lemon version, the lemon zest was to be steeped in the hot milk. With the flan, sugar was cooked to an amber hue and placed in the baking dish ahead of the custard.
The verdict? I thought the lemon custard was quite tasty. However, I thought the flan was fantastic. (My neighbor thought the lemon custard was the better of the two.) One qualifier... you have to like custard (i.e. "eggy") to enjoy these desserts. (I do, my husband doesn't. ) I would definitely make either of these again.
I baked the flan according to the directions in the book. I baked the lemon custard slightly different, based on comments from the TWD bakers that tried it ahead of me. Most commented that it was very eggy and bland. I substituted half of the milk with cream to make it more creamy. I used twice the lemon zest called for, I gave it a squeeze of fresh lemon, and I added a little lemon extract. This made for a lightly lemon flavored dessert. I also took it out of the oven right at 40 minutes, while it was still noticeably jiggly, so as not to over cook.
For the Lemon Custard recipe, please refer to Dorie's book, or Bridget's site, above. For the Flan recipe, please refer to Stephanie's site at Whisk: A Food Blog (Steph chose this recipe back in March, 2008).
OK, two more recipes down, only (about) 140 more!