My first go at this - The Ugly One - tastes good, and it has a walnut-ey in-custard thing going on - but it's butt ugly. The version keeps the custard clean and smooth, and the walnuts in a saged cheese crumble on top. It's prettier. It's more elegant. I like it better. —aargersi
Bring the cream, sage, orange peel, salt and pepper to a simmer. Turn off the heat and allow it to cool and infuse for at least a half hour.
Remove the peels and sage leaves, scrape off as much of the cream as you can (this will also squeeze out more flavor). Whisk the eggs and buttermilk in with the cream.
Spray 4 ramekins with no stick (it just plain old works better than butter). Pour the custard evenly into them, put them in a larger dish and fill that halfway with water. Put them into a cold oven and turn the heat to 350. Once the preheat dinger goes off, set the time for 30 minutes. The custards should be nicely set and not jiggly in the middle. Allow them to cool for at least 15 minutes, you can also serve room temp or cold.
Walnut Sage Crumb
Toast the walnuts - I do this in a skillet but you could also pop them in the oven with the custards for about 10 minutes.
Pulse the walnuts, cheese and sage in a processor until it is a coarse crumb. I have a mini one that is perfect for jobs like this.
Cover each custard cup with a small plate and flip. Top each custard with some of the crumble and serve - no need to dim the lights!!!
I work in databases by day, but creativity is my outlet. Food - imagining it, making it, sharing it. And art, I come from a family of artists and have been collaging in my garage studio. You can see my work on Etsy in my shop AbbiesGarage https://www.etsy.com/shop/AbbiesGarage?ref=search_shop_redirect