Cardamom Custard and Brown Sugar Meringue

22 Jun

Hello dear friends of the internet.

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If you’re on vacation for the summer, I hope it’s awesome.  If you’re not… dude, I’m sorry.  I’ve never had such a relaxed vacation.  I’m finally realizing the potential of biking (especially in the Midwest where it’s so flat!).  I can cross state lines.  By bicycle!  A friend of mine also figured out that if you take public transport to the end of the line, you can bike to the Mississippi without much hassle, so that might be happening.

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Also camping.  As in, biking some tens of miles to some lovely state park on Lake Michigan.

What I really love about this whole vacation (what I’m trying to say, that is), is that I’m finally taking advantage of the autonomy of biking.  I’m so enamored with how self-powered biking is.  What is more awesome than propelling yourself through your own ability 50+ miles?

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You come here for baking, though, so let’s get down to it.  I was searching for recipes for cardamom custard when I was in my art history class a couple of weeks ago.  It feels like such a long time ago…

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I lazily adapted a recipe from The Kitchn and then used the brown sugar meringue recipe from Short and Sweets.

Ingredients:

For the custard:

  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp sugar (the recipe calls for granulated but I used brown)
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch

For the meringue:

  • 3 egg whites
  • a scant cup of brown sugar
  • pinch of salt

Recipe:

In a saucepan, heat milk and cardamom together on medium-low heat until simmering but NOT boiling.

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In a mixing bowl, whisk the egg yolks until frothy.  Whisk the sugar, cornstarch, and salt in.  Add a cup of the milk to the mixing bowl to temper the eggs (which gets them used to the heat so they don’t flip out and start cooking).

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Pour the egg mixture back into the saucepan.  Reduce heat to low/medium-low and stir frequently until thickened.  It should take about 15-20 minutes, but if it doesn’t seem thick enough, take it off the heat and just trust it.  It’ll thicken on its own off the stove.

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You can eat it warm, but I prefer it refrigerated.

Now, for the meringue.  In a REALLY clean bowl and with REALLY clean beaters, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form.  Preheat the oven until 250 degrees.  Then, add the brown sugar one tablespoon (ish) at a time, beating on high until the peaks go from soft to stiff and glossy.

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Spoon them onto a baking sheet or pipe through a ziplock bag and bake for 70 minutes, or until the outsides aren’t sticky.  You may need to go longer (I went much longer).  Then, turn off the oven and prop open the door, letting them dry out for another hour or so.  Serve with the custard or eat them out of the oven like an impatient motherfucker until you mysteriously pull out half the amount you put in…

Anyway.  It’s time for some shameless self-promotion: since I have a new camera that shoots video and since I’ve been biking so much, I’ve been making a ton of short videos of my trips.  They’re on my Vimeo account, so check that shit out.

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