Spring….

 

It is officially SPRING TIME!!!! I am so happy about it that I need to say it out loud.

Somehow I feel like I don’t have enough words to say how much I love spring and the  warm weather and the blue sky and the sun and the birds singing and the happy faces that you see everywhere ….and my list can continue forever.

and what is better than creme caramel to celebrate such a great season? …my answer is nothing. You would think creme caramel is sugary, has a smooth texture and it would match better the winter, but for me is smooth, it has the caramelized sugar competing with the delicate texture, is just like spring sometimes sunny but trying to fight the morning chill, full of contrast but yet so great.

To make the creme caramel I used the recipe of Julia Child (with a little twist), I am still gathering some courage to try her coq au vin or her boeuf bourguignon.

crème renversée au caramel 

serves 4-6 people

 

caramel

110 grams sugar

60 ml water

custard

480 ml  milk (I used 200 ml heavy cream and 280 ml milk)

150 grams sugar

2 eggs

4 egg yolks

1 teaspoon vanilla extract, or 1 vanilla bean

Directions:

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. In a small saucepan, combine ½ cup sugar with ¼ cup water. Bring to a boil over low heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Increase the heat to high and cook, without stirring, until the syrup turns a light caramel color. Remove the saucepan from the heat and dip the bottom into cold water to stop the cooking. Pour the caramel into a 4-cup charlotte mold, and tilt so that it covers the bottoms and sides. Let cool.

In a small saucepan, bring the milk and vanilla to a boil. In a heat-proof bowl, beat the eggs, egg yolks and cup sugar until blended. Whisking constantly, pour the hot milk into the egg mixture; let rest for a few minutes, then strain. Pour the custard into the caramel-coated mold.

Put the mold in a small but deep baking or roasting pan, and add hot water to come about two-thirds up the sides of the mold. Place the pan on the stove over medium heat, and bring the water to a simmer. Transfer the pan to the oven. (The water should stay at a low simmer at all times; do not let it boil or the custard will over cook.) Bake until a knife inserted into the center of the custard comes out clean, 40 to 50 minutes. Keep the custard in the baking pan until the water cools. Remove from the pan to finish cooling. To serve, run the tip of a knife around the top of the custard to loosen it. Invert a serving platter over the mold and quickly turn it over again. Carefully remove the mold.

Source : NY Times

Dreaming of summer

Summer, Greece…bougatsa (Μπουγάτσα)

I woke up this morning and guess what… it is still gloomy, cold and cloudy outside and  there is a long way to go until the sun will start shinning again.  I am dreaming of a hot summer and of nice, warm days. So, to bring a bit of warmth into the house I made some bougatsa wanna be. It reminds me of  Greece, of sun, of late delicious breakfasts and of lazy days at the beach. Bougatsa apparently originated in the northern part of Greece, in the province of  Macedonia and it has different types of filling – meat, cheese, custard, spinach and so on,  all of them equally delicious. I love the sweet variety, bougatsa me krema and here is my interpretation of bougatsa.

Recipe

Few sheets of phyllo pastry

375 ml milk

2 egg yolks

80 g of sugar

2 tablespoons of cornstarch or fine semolina

vanilla

cinnamon

Procedure

Drizzle  squared sheets of phyllo pastry with melted butter and bake in muffin trays in the oven at 150 degrees C for 10 minutes or until the pastry becomes golden. Meanwhile, in a pan heat the milk with 50 g of sugar. separately mix the egg yolks with sugar and cornstarch. When the milk reaches a boil, slowly start incorporating the egg mixture, while whisking continuously to ensure that the custard is smooth. Boil until the custard thickens. Pour the custard into the phyllo cups and drizzle cinnamon on top of it.

Kali Orexi or Καλή όρεξη!