Count us among the many fans who lost themselves in Trail of Crumbs, food and travel writer Kim Sunée’s soulful memoir about life, love and finding herself from New Orleans to Paris, Korea to Provence. We were thrilled to learn she was writing a (beautiful!) cookbook–more armchair road tripping with Kim, this time with stunning recipes to sweeten the journey.
We especially love how she turns the tables on pot de crème, inverting the dinner order and serving it at the start, rather than the end, of the meal. “Pot de crème is a classic French dessert custard,” Kim writes in A Mouthful of Stars. “But I also love the less common savory versions to serve as an hors d’oeuvre or first course. I favor Comté or Parmigiano-Reggiano for this, but I imagine that any good-quality melting cheese would work well.”
Kim bakes these at a low temperature and dispenses with the “fuss” of a water bath–leaving us all the more time for heavenly vicarious voyages.
Andrews McMeel Publishing
- ¾ cup heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon black peppercorns, crushed
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- 2 to 3 thyme sprigs
- 2 egg yolks
- 2½ ounces Comté or parmigiano-reggiano, finely grated
- ¼ cup hazelnuts or walnuts
- Freshly ground black pepper
- For serving: toasted baguette slices and endive spears
- You’ll need 2 ovenproof glass jars, such as short widemouthed (4-ounce) mason jars, or ramekins. Place the jars or ramekins on a baking sheet; set aside. Preheat the oven to 225°F.
- Heat the cream in a medium pot over medium-high heat to a very low boil. Add the peppercorns, garlic, and thyme sprigs. Turn off the heat and let steep for 15 minutes. Strain the cream through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl.
- Combine the egg yolks, infused cream, and the cheese in a bowl and blend until well combined. Divide the mixture evenly among the ovenproof glass jars; it will probably fill the jars about three-quarters of the way. Bake for 25 minutes.
- Lightly toast and chop the nuts. Sprinkle the nuts and pepper over the custards and bake for another 15 to 20 minutes. The custards should be slightly jiggly in the center but mostly set. Let rest for a few minutes before serving with toasted baguette slices and crisp endive spears.
From A Mouthful of Stars: A Constellation of Favorite Recipes from My World Travels by Kim Sunée/Andrews McMeel Publishing, LLC