Final Day: Anna’s Cardamom Custard with Green Tomato-Apple Relish
Yes, I made a dessert. Why? Possibly because it seemed like the most contrary option when handed a pickle-oriented recipe challenge. Or, possibly, because I love the contrast of sweet and sour and wish it found its way onto dessert plates more often.
Either way, my favorite of the Rick’s Picks family – sweet/spicy/sour Green Tomato Condiment – was a natural for a dessert. And thinking about the sweet-tart, juicy Fuji apples I’d had from Union Square Greenmarket vendor Terhune Orchards, I realized that combining GTC with apples, spices, and sweetener could make a wonderful compote-type sauce for…something? Later it came to me that a creamy custard -made from Northshire Farms eggs and Ronnybrook butter and Creamline milk – would be the ideal foil for my piquant sauce, and that spicing it up with curry-complement cardamom would take the flavor combination further.
The result was exactly as I’d hoped: a balance between sweet, creamy, and sour. I topped each serving with a flash-fried dark-brown apple slice, which provided a surprisingly pleasant burnt-marshmallow flavor accent, invited a friend over for dessert, and in no time we had two licked-empty plates. Try this!
Make the sauce and the fried apple garnish while the custard is baking.
For the cardamom custard:
- 1-2 tablespoons butter
- 4 eggs
- 1/2 cup agave nectar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2 teaspoon cardamom
- 2 1/2 cups milk
Preheat oven to 325 and thoroughly butter about 8 small or 4 large ramekins.
Whisk together eggs, agave nectar, salt, vanilla, and cardamom until thoroughly combined.
Add milk gradually, whisking to combine.
Pour mixture into ramekins and place into a bain marie, bringing water up to within 1/2″ of top of ramekin. Bake at 325 about 50 minutes for smaller ramekins, 1 hour for larger, or until completely set. If using small ramekins, run a butter knife around the edge of the custard and invert on a plate. Unmold and serve immediately, topped
with relish and garnish. If using large ramekins, do not unmold to serve, but top with relish and garnish.
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 Fuji or other sweet-tart apple (e.g. Mutsu, Macoun, Ginger Gold),
- peeled and cut into 1/4-1/2″ dice
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (freshly grated if possible)
- 1/2 cup Green Tomato Condiment – tomatoes only – cut into 1/4″-1/2″ dice
- dash salt
- 2 tablespoons agave nectar
Melt butter over medium heat in large skillet.
Add apple, cinnamon, Green Tomato Condiment, and a dash of salt, and mix thoroughly to combine spices.
Turn heat down to low, cover, and cook until apples are soft, adding water as needed to moisten.
Add agave nectar and cook over medium heat, uncovered, until most of the moisture is gone.
For the flash-fried apple slice garnish:
Use mandoline to cut a few very thin slices of an unpeeled apple, about 3″ long. Fry in skilled in refined coconut, canola, or other flavor-neutral oil until first side is dark brown around edges; flip with fork and fry on other side until dark brown all over. Drain on paper towels.
Cost of ingredients:
- 2 x 12oz Ronnybrook Creamline milk at $1.50 = $3.00
- 4 Northshire Farms eggs at $5/dozen = $1.67
- 3 tablespoons Ronnybrook Farms butter (estimated) = $0.94
- 2 Terhune Orchards apple at $2/lb = $2Total: $7.61 (makes approx 4 servings)
For more information on our $10 Greenmarket Challenge, go to http://bit.ly/cBpyRI.