Buttermilk Sage Custards - The Ugly One

By • January 1, 2012 5 Comments

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Author Notes: I really like savory custards, and sage and walnuts make a tasty one. My only problem is they are a bit, shall we say, unattractive. Oh hell I'll just say it. They're ugly ... but they taste really good! So dress 'em up with a nice plate and some garnish, or dim the lights, and enjoy! Hmm, maybe you could not flip them - just serve them in the ramekins.aargersi

Serves 4 custards

  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 10 sage leaves
  • 3 strips orange peel
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup full fat buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 1/4 cup shredded parmesan
  • bread crumbs for ramekins
  • 3 large eggs
  1. Put the cream, 6 of the sage leaves, orange peel, salt and pepper in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer and then turn off the heat. Let the flavors infuse for at least a half hour, and make sure the cream has cooled (we went for a walk so mine sat in the fridge for 2 hours)
  2. Generously butter 4 ramekins. Dust the butter with bread crumbs. Lightly toast the walnuts then pulse them in a processor (I have a mini that is perfect for stuff like this) with the remaining sage and parmesan until it resembles a coarse meal. Press equal parts into the bottom of each ramekin.
  3. Remove the sage and orange from the cream. Whisk the cream with the buttermilk and eggs, then gently pour the mixture into the ramekins. Put them in a larger dish and fill that with cold water up to 1/2 way up the ramekins. Put the pan in a cold oven and turn the heat to 350. Once the preheat buzzer goes off set the timer for 30 minutes. The custards should be firm but not too puffed or hard - keep an eye on them.
  4. Remove them from the water bath and allow them to cool for 10-15 minutes, then gently run a knife around the edge, cover with a small plate, flip and tap the ramekin. The custard should plop out onto the plate. It will look ugly. It will taste good. I like this warm but room temp is good too!

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