264. Baked Sauternes Custard (Weekend Lunch)
This one's pretty much the same as the sauternes ice-cream, with slightly different egg-sugar-cream-wine ratios. You heat up (in separate pans) cream and sauternes, and then whisk them successively into an egg-and-sugar mixture, before baking in a waterbath. Nigella says that you shouldn't bake it too firm - it should be "soft and voluptuous, like an eighteenth-century courtesan's inner thigh". I halved quantities and cooking time, but the custard still set slightly too firm, more like a pneumatically-breasted 21st century porn starlet than a courtesan of days gone by. Oh well, it still tasted good to me.
baked sauternes custard
While the custard was cooling, I poached some white peaches in sauternes syrup leftover from the last time I poached peaches. Then I cooked dinner while they were both cooling.
About tonight's choice for dinner - all the fat-and-meat-loaded meals that Nigella seems to adore have left me feeling, well, fat-and-meat-loaded too. Right this second, I don't think I could face another roast, meatball, or sausage.
But today, I remembered those magical words at the end of the Weekend Lunch chapter...
"Of course I don't expect anyone to eat this sort of food every Sunday without fail - no one's telling you can't have pasta, for God's sake"
It's not that I feel I need Nigella's permission to deviate from meat every now and then; this quote was more a useful reminder of the options available.
But I realised, as I flicked through How to Eat, that I have indeed already made all the pasta recipes! So I created my own, based on my desire for something summery and vegetarian, and on the fact that we had a huge bunch of basil and 5 zucchinis at home.
I cooked up some penne, and sautéed up the sliced zucchinis in olive oil, then tossed them together, adding torn basil leaves, parmesan cheese, toasted pine nuts and ricotta cheese. (Kind of like a souped up version of pasta with unpestoed pesto). It needed quite a bit of salt, but was very satisfying and tasty.
pasta eaten al fresco
And continuing on the light and fresh theme...
poached peaches and baked sauternes custard
I absolutely adored the dessert! Not only did it look beautiful, the pink-blushed peach halves glistening in syrup against the sombre yellow of the custard, but it tasted wonderful too. The peaches I used were much larger than those from last time, so they were a bit firmer than expected, but not unpleasantly so. The custard was fragrant with sauternes and seductively smooth.
Speaking of which, this, dear readers, is the dessert you must make for your beloved if you are planning a seduction dinner. (In smaller quantities, in candlelight, and without your parents sitting at the table, to be sure). There is absolutely nothing unsexy about this dish. And any potential lover who doesn't fall for your charms after eating this, doesn't deserve your loving at all.