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Friday, 10 May 2013

Kafir Lime Custard with Blood Orange Compote

I bought a bag of blood oranges at work a few weeks back, intending to create something yummy with them. But, then I was totally distracted with planning my cooking class, and the poor little beauties have been languishing in my fridge ever since.  Knowing I would be off today, and wanting to create something decadent yet somewhat healthy to serve my Mother-in-law for dinner tomorrow night for Mother’s Day Dinner, I started looking for a recipe that would showcase their loveliness. Nothing had all of the components I was looking for, so I had to get creative. (Just to show you how my brain works when deciding what to cook, the combination of this recipe, this recipe and this recipe led to the creation of my recipe...crazy but true) I think they turned out divine.
The blood orange compote, as simple as it is, is a wee bit messy and fiddly to make, but it is totally worth the effort. If you cannot get blood oranges, any other macerated fresh fruit would be lovely on top of this custard...I can see blueberries or raspberries as a wonderful substitution!
I am loving the coconut nectar lately, it adds a lovely flavour that marries so well with the kafir lime in this recipe! Feel free to substitute it for your sweetener of choice.

Kafir Lime Custard with Blood Orange Compote

4 cups whole milk
½ cup coconut nectar (or other sweetener of choice)
6 kafir lime leaves
8 eggs, well beaten but not frothy
Pinch of salt
6-8 blood oranges, depending on size, mine were small!
1 tbsp coconut nectar
¼ cup toasted coconut flakes

To make your custards:
Preheat the oven to 300F with the rack in the middle.

In a medium sized pot, combine the milk, first amount of coconut nectar and the kafir lime leaves. Warm slowly over medium heat, stirring often, until it just boils. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover and leave for 20 minutes to infuse the milk with the lime leaves.

Meanwhile, beat the eggs in a large mixing bowl until well mixed, but not frothy.

When milk is infused, stir in a pinch of salt, and remove the lime leaves.

Scoop out a cup of the warm milk, and add it slowly to the beaten eggs, stirring constantly. (this will temper your eggs so that they don’t cook when you add the rest of the hot milk) \

Add this mixture to rest of the warm milk in the pot. Stir well, and then pour thru a mesh strainer over your mixing bowl. This will remove any bits of cooked egg or lime leaves, and give you a smoother custard.
Place 9 ramekins in a large shallow pan. Fill each with approx ¾ cup of your custard mixture.  (adjust to the size of your ramekins if they are smaller or larger than mine!)

Carefully transfer your pan into your preheated oven.

Fill a 4 cup vessel that pours well with very hot tap water. (a kettle works well too!)
Pour carefully into your shallow dish to surround the ramekins. The water should come up the sides of the ramekins about ¾ of the way.

Bake for approximately 1 1/4 hours , or until they set.  If you insert a knife into the custard halfway between the middle and the edge, it should come out clean when they are cooked.

Remove them from the water bath and let cool for a good half hour, then refrigerate for at least 4 hours or up to 24. Wait until they are completely cool to cover them if you will be keeping them refrigerated for the 24 hrs.

To Make your compote:
Cut the top and bottom ends from your blood oranges to create a flat end on each. Cut the pith and peel away with a sharp knife (my serrated steak knife worked beautifully) being careful to not waste too much of the fruit on the peel.

Over a bowl, so that you can catch every drop of the delicious juice, cut the sections carefully away from the membranes. Place the membranes in a mesh sieve, you will press them at the end to get every last bit of juice. Continue with all of your oranges, and press the remaining “waste” thru your sieve into the bowl. Add the second amount of coconut nectar, and stir to combine. My oranges were pretty tiny, and I ended up with just over ½ a cup of juice and sections.

Just prior to serving, top each custard with a Tbsp of the compote, and garnish with the toasted coconut flakes.

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