I love looking at lots of old notebooks and recipes for inspiration. I was looking through an amazing old notebook that belonged to my grandma Marion, my dad's mom when I ran across a recipe for orange custard. I think that this notebook was from when she was studying "domestic science" at school. I love how some of the rules for working in kitchen included "wear an apron always." It's interesting how I actually follow that rule. I love wearing an apron in the kitchen because it signifies my "uniform" and it helps me feel official in practicing my craft with food.
That spurred me on to start to think about how I could make a version of that type of custard that was gluten free, dairy free and healthier. The directions for the custard were very vague, like "bake in a custard dish" and "bake in a hot oven." However, I took the knowledge that I have about making custards and set to work creating one. It took 2 versions and a lot of testing and tasting, but this version is very delicious! I love the subtle lemon flavor, the cream of the coconut milk and the sweetness of the maple meringue. It is an amazing combination and it is so delicious! I hope that you will serve it for a special occasion soon.
Paleo Lemon Coconut Custards with Maple Meringue:
1 lemon- rind & juice
1 whole egg
2 egg yolks (save the whites for the meringue topping)
2 tablespoons arrowroot starch
5 tablespoons honey
1 cup full fat coconut milk
+ boiling water for steam.
1. Beat egg and 2 yolks in a bowl with a wire whisk. Add in the juice and grated rind of two fresh lemons. Add in the honey and arrowroot starch.
2. In a small saucepan over medium high heat, bring the coconut milk to a boil. Immediately after it boils, bring it off the heat and let cool for about 5 minutes.
3. After the coconut milk has cooled, whisk it into the mixture in the bowl.
4. Prepare the oven. Heat to 350F. Put 4 small ceramic custard cups onto a rimmed metal baking sheet. Start boiling some water in a kettle for the steam bath.
5. Pour the custard mixture into the 4 cups, dividing it evenly. Put the rimmed baking sheet on the middle rack in the oven. Pour the boiling water into the baking sheet, and make sure the water comes up to 1/4 to a 1/2 inch or so. This will make a steam bath in the oven so that the custards cook evenly and don't crack.
6. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until the custards are set.
2 egg whites
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 ounces or a scant 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, place the 2 egg whites. Beat the egg whites until very frothy, but not dry.
2. Add in the vanilla extract to the egg whites and whisk to combine.
3. Place the pure maple syrup in a small saucepan over medium high heat. Bring to a boil and bring up to 250F. Make sure to stir from time to time. Once the syrup reaches the temperature, with the mixer running add it in a steady stream to the egg white mixture. Beat the meringue mixture until it is shiny and stiff peaks form. Dollop a large amount on top of each custard. You will have a bit of extra meringue left. With a creme brulee torch, brown each meringue.