Herb-Infused Parmesan Custard

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Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 4

This eggy custard has just a touch of garlic, for a piquant, but not too brash, flavor. Try servingit as the centerpiece of a brunch with a tangle of mixed greens on the side.

Ingredients:

  • Unsalted butter for greasing
  • 3/4 cup (3 oz./90 g) grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 cups (16 fl. oz./500 ml) half-and-half
  • 1 tsp. minced fresh thyme
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 3 eggs plus 4 egg yolks
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground white pepper

Directions:

Preheat anoven to 325°F (165°C). Lightly butter six 3/4-cup (6–fl. oz./180-ml) ramekins or custard cups, sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese and tilt to coat the sides evenly; tap out and reserve the excess cheese. Arrange the ramekins in a baking dish just large enough to hold them.

In a saucepan over medium-low heat, bring the half-and-half, thyme and garlic to a simmer. Remove from the heat, cover and let stand for 5 minutes.

In a bowl, whisk together the eggs and egg yolks, 1/2 tsp.salt and 1/4 tsp.white pepper until blended. Gradually whisk the warm half-and-half mixture into the yolks, then whisk in the reserved cheese. Pour into a glass measuring cup or pitcher. Divide evenly among the prepared ramekins.

Place the baking dish with the ramekins on the oven rack. Gently pull out the rack and pour enough hot water into the baking dish to come about 1/2 inch (12 mm) up the sides of the ramekins. Gently push the oven rack back into place. Bake until a butter knife inserted into a ramekin comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes. Remove the baking pan from the oven, then use tongs to remove the ramekins from the water. Serve immediately. Serves 4.

Adapted from Williams Sonoma Breakfast Comforts, by Rick Rodgers (Weldon Owen 2010)

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