I made a batch of these two days ago. There were six small pots de creme. There are now zero pots de creme in my refrigerator. Because we ate them. All six. Two people, two days, SIX pots de creme. Think about it.
Something I am working on (and clearly I have a long way to go) is restraint. Just because there are six jars of vanilla bean and lavender pots de creme in my refrigerator does not mean I have to EAT six jars of vanilla bean and lavender pot de creme.
But here's the thing, They are just so good! And the fancy name mixed with fancy ingredients (lavender is fancy right?) somehow make me feel less guilty about my over consumption. Now lets get real for a second. Pot de creme is merely a baked pudding. It is incredibly easy to make and its fine to serve and eat. The little salty cookies are the perfect garnish.
Lavender Vanilla Bean Pots de Creme
4 Egg Yolks
1 1/2 Cups Heavy Cream
1/2 Cup Milk
1/2 Cup Sugar
1/4 tsp. Salt
1/2 Vanilla Bean
About a Tbs. Lavender Buds (I just used 3 stems of lavender.)
Separate the egg yolks into a medium sized bowl and set aside.
Mix the milk, sugar, vanilla bean (scraped and thrown whole into the pot) lavender and salt in a medium saucepan and warm on the stovetop over medium heat.
Once it starts to steam and bubble around the edges, pull the milk mixture from the stovetop. SLOWLY pour it over the egg yolks and briskly whisk the yolks as you pour. If this feels too much like kitchen acrobatics (which it can be) you can use a ladle to pour the hot milk onto the egg yolks. Still whisk as you pour.
Once the milk and eggs are all mixed together, add the cold cream. Mix briefly and set in the refrigerator for between 20 minutes and overnight. This will enhance the lavender flavor.
Preheat the oven to 350
Strain the custard with a mesh sieve before pouring them into small jars or ramekins. Do not fill all the way up to the rim. Leave at least half an inch.
Place the jars or ramekins in a high-sided baking dish. Fill that baking dish with warm water (easiest if you use a pitcher or pot and do this step right next to the oven) until the water comes up a little bit higher than the custard in the jars (but obviously below the rim of the jar.)
Bake for about 45 minutes to an hour (time will vary depending on jar or ramekin size) until the custard starts firming on the edges and jiggles like jello when you move the pan. Remove the jars from the pan and refrigerate for about an hour and a half to two hours.
Salty Brown Butter Shortbread Cookies (half recipe)
1/2 Cup Unsalted Butter
1/4 Cup Brown Sugar
2 Tbs. Heavy Cream
1 Cup + 2 Tbs All Purpose Flour
1 Tbs. Cornstarch
1/8 tsp. Salt
Good Flaky Sea Salt for Sprinkling on Top
Right after you place the pots de creme in the oven, brown the butter on the stove top (swirl it consistently until the milk solids start to turn brown and it smells nutty and sweet. This is my favorite smell in the whole entire world. Even better than fresh vanilla. Please enjoy.) Pull it from the stovetop once it has browned because the time it takes to go from brown to black is irritatingly quick. Pour it into a bowl and place un the refrigerator until it has re-solidified. This should take about 45 min to an hour, about as long as it will take to bake the pots de creme.
Beat the butter until it is smooth. Add the sugar, salt and heavy cream.
Mix until combined and smooth.
Add the flour and cornstarch.
Mix until it comes together. It will still be a bit crumbly looking.
Dump it out onto a floured surface and press together until it forms a disc.
Roll the dough out to about 1/4 inch. Cut into the desired shapes and place on a parchment lined sheet tray.
Place in the freezer for the time it takes the oven to preheat.
Preheat oven to 350.
Sprinkle a pinch of good flaky sea salt on each cookie before you bake for 10-12 minutes until the edges begin to brown.
Cool completely before serving.