Sunday, February 24, 2013

pots de crème

For any of you who have been to France, you know what it's like to walk down the supermarket aisles and stumble upon the yogurt and pudding sections. Yes, sometimes there are multiple aisles! For those who don't know what I'm talking about, take a look at this stack of individual yogurt packs.
They're not so big on the 500 ml or litre tubs of yogurt, but boy can you find a million and one individual yogurts. They come in plastic pots, glass pots (perfect for  a little posy vases) and ceramic pots. And yogurt is cheap. Yesterday we bought a 12-pack of plain yogurt for Jean-Marc for 1,35€. 

But then, just across from the yogurt is the pudding section! Have you ever seen so many individual portions of pudding?
Whether it's chocolate, vanilla, pistachio, caramel or coffee-flavoured puddings, French people's shopping trolleys are usually well-stocked with these desserts (much to my shock! Four dozen puddings for the week - really?). French Farmhouse co-owner Caitlin and I discovered the delights of these pots de crème back when we were renovating the house. We bought the coffee-flavoured ones in little glass pots (perfect for tealight candle holders afterwards) and we were hooked, but, ahem, you know, in a reasonable way. Once again, it's all still rather affordable: 4 pots for 1€.

Now that I live here I don't give in to these treats, mostly because I'm trying to avoid sugar and industrial food. But those little ceramic pots that I've collected over the years have come in handy because I have found some low sugar (or no sugar) alternative recipes. Here's one that I recently made that turned out more like a flan than a pudding, but good all the same!

coconut custard flan
- butter or coconut oil to grease the ramekins
- 3 eggs
- 1 can of coconut milk
- 2 T maple syrup
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup grated coconut (optional)

- preheat oven to 325F (or 170C)
- boil some water to use for the bain marie in the baking dish
- grease the ramekins (about 4-5 medium)
- mix all the ingredients and pour into ramekins
- top with larger shaved coconut, if you like
- put ramekins into a baking dish and pour the boiling water into the bottom, surrounding the ramekins up about halfway
- bake custard flans for about 20-25 minutes or until set (you can check with a knife to see if it comes out clean). If your ramekins are smaller or wider, they may be done sooner.
Here are some of mine that I baked in some of those ceramic pudding pots. You can also make a bit more with 5 eggs, 1.5 cans of coconut milk, 1/4 cup or less of maple syrup, 1 T of vanilla and more shaved coconut. That should be good for 7-8 servings. Miam!


  1. I think this would be delicious for breakfast too! The flottante (sp?) were the wierdest thing - maybe just for kids? But did love the jumbo Yop drinks.

  2. I've made a pumpkin version for breakfast before. It's like pumpkin pie without the crust! Mmmm

    My mother-in-law makes îles flottantes quite often (meringues floating in custard cream for those of you who don't know). At first I didn't like them because I wasn't too keen on custard, but it's a low sugar and high protein dessert that I've come to enjoy!