Saturday, November 20, 2010

Boozin’ It Up

I like dessert. And I like booze. And I really like boozy desserts. For the record, I also really like saying “boozy desserts,” but I suppose “drunken desserts” also has a ring to it. I don’t know about you, but for me, the holidays are made for boozing, and for dessert. Last year I gave you the ooey, gooey, alcohol infused chocolate Kahlua cake. This year, just in time for Thanksgiving and family boozin’ (wait, you don’t booze with your fam at Thanksgiving?) I present to you…

Spiced custard. Nuts. Rum. What more do you need, people!? The answer is nothing…or whipped cream. Either of those answers is correct.

I made this dessert as a substitute for pumpkin pie. Ok, now people hate me… but it’s true: I could care less about pumpkin pie. It has a funny texture, it tastes boring, and it’s just not that exciting. Our Thanksgiving table will have pecan pie for sure (the best of all pies, in my opinion), pumpkin loaf—a delicious pumpkin-cake and cream cheese filling roll of delight (see, we’ll still have a pumpkin item on show)—and now… deliciously boozy little custards. Hey, I put pumpkin pie spice in them…doesn’t that count?

I suppose you could call this dessert pots de crème, because technically, that’s what it is. Little pots of cream, or custard, baked in a water bath, and chilled prior to serving. But when a big family Thanksgiving rolls around and you’re feeding a crowd that consists of teenage boys that like to hunt and play sports (and dads that like to hunt and watch sports) pots de crème (aka poh duh KREHM) might not be the most popular choice at the dessert table. That’s why I will be serving Spiced Custard Cups with Drunken Pecan Sauce. Sure, that name doesn’t leave much to the imagination, but at least you know what you’re getting. And everyone likes to hear that there’s booze in their dessert…right?

Spiced Custard Cups with Drunken Pecan Sauce
Serves 6-8

For the Custard Cups:

1 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 cinnamon stick
A generous pinch of fresh ground nutmeg
3 egg yolks
2 whole eggs

Preheat oven to 350. Combine both milks in a saucepan and gently heat until slightly frothy. Turn to low and add cinnamon stick, pie spice, and nutmeg--steep for 3 minutes. Remove from heat and continue steeping for about 10 minutes, until milk is lukewarm. Remove cinnamon stick. Whisk together the eggs and yolks then whisk this into the milk mixture. Pour mixture into ramekins and place ramekins in a baking dish. Fill baking dish with water (be careful not to get water in ramekins) halfway up side of ramekin. Bake for 40-50 minutes, until solid but still slightly jiggly. Cool until set (overnight is best).

For the Pecan Rum Sauce:

1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons dark rum
1 cinnamon stick
3/4 cups toasted pecans (whole and pieces)

Combine water, sugar, and cinnamon stick. Boil for 5 minutes, remove from heat. Remove cinnamon stick, and stir in rum. Add pecans. Cool and pour over cool custard cups. Chill overnight and serve with a dollop of whipped cream (if you're feelin' fancy).
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