Monday, April 23, 2012

I Hope You’re a Big Flan of Asparagus Custard.

Actually, I’d understand perfectly well if you were not, I won’t be offended really. That said, if you’re into asparagus, custards, and are adventurous enough to see what the bizarre love child of mingling the two would be, I would suggest you consider this admittedly somewhat out there recipe.

Ah, yes, by the way, this week’s theme is asparagus, not custard, but no one is keeping score I don’t think.

I originally had intended on doing something a bit more commonplace, such as roasted asparagus, a regular favorite in the household, but it being a challenge I decided to challenge myself. A tickle in the back of my head reminded me that there was something one could do with asparagus and eggs that was mentioned in Michael Ruhlman’s Ratio so I took a look and there it was, Asparagus Custard.

A bit taken aback, I had to beg my family to allow me to foist this upon them.

Molding issues aside, it had a really nice green color at the end of it. Oh and don’t worry, this isn’t a dessert at all, but it is certainly cooling. Read on if you haven’t been scared off!



Ingredients are simple. Salt, half and half, some eggs, asparagus.

In the end I used 3/4 tsp. salt, a bit more than a cup of half and half, a half pound of asparagus and three eggs.


The first thing to do before the rest of the prep is to make a brine strength solution or 5%. In this case, 70 oz of water and 3.5 oz of salt. You don’t need exactly this amount, but basically have enough water to comfortably dunk in the asparagus and a pretty salty liquid. Put it over high heat while prepping your other ingredients.

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The second thing you want to do is preheat the oven to 325 degrees F, and have a baking dish that can hold four ramekins  comfortably, and measure enough water in so that the water comes up to three quarter of the way up the ramekin. Remove ramekins, place water bath into preheating oven.

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Pour in one cup of half and half into a blender, toss in the salt.

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Boil your asparagus for a few minutes until tender, then shock in an ice bath.

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Cut up the asparagus, reserving tips for garnish.

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Toss in the asparagus chunks into the blender and blend until smooth, and then blend some more.

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Not smooth enough.

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It just wasn’t going through the fine mesh strainer fast enough, so I threw it all back in on super high for a good half minute or so.

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Doesn’t look like much does it? Almost like avocado juice, if there were such a thing.

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For every half cup of liquid, add an egg. I was just shy of 1.5 cups so I added a bit more half and half to reach it and cracked in three eggs.

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Divide evenly among four ramekins (or oven safe bowls in my case). Each one comes out to about four ounces of liquid.

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Place them into the now hot water bath and put the whole assembly back into the oven. Bake for a half hour to forty minutes.

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Voila! Looks more promising than I expected really.

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The light brown tinge around the edges had me hopeful, as did the pleasant cooked asparagus smell. Remove from water bath and let cool for ten minutes, cover with plastic wrap and let chill for a few hours.

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Carefully slide a knife around the edge and unmold. Creatively use garnish to hide errors. Serve with lemon or hollandaise!

Watch family reaction with anticipation.

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Thanks for bearing with me, and continue to enjoy.

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