{everyone needs a side of sparkle}


a custard for fall seasons

Normally, I would not be attracted to a savory custard, but I am attracted to thinking outside the proverbial box and this recipe from the catbird seat in Nashville, TN does just that. A hint of maple syrup and the earthy tone of truffle oil sounds like a wonderful match. This might just be my Sunday afternoon cooking escape endeavor. Of course, that does depend on having an hour of kid-free time (which is a premium these days). I'll be happy even if I only get as far as making the bacon chips!

6 thinly sliced bacon strips, cut into 3-inch strips
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
¼ cup maple syrup, plus more to serve
4 sprigs fresh thyme, plus more to garnish
2 whole eggs
2 egg yolks
Truffle oil to taste (optional)
Pine extract to taste (optional)

1.    Make the bacon chips: Preheat the oven to 350°. Line a sheet pan with the bacon slices and set another sheet pan over the top to weight down the bacon. Bake for 15 minutes or until crisp. Set aside to cool. Lower the oven to 300°.

2.    Make the custards: In a medium saucepot set over medium-high heat, combine the heavy cream, milk and maple syrup. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low heat and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring frequently until the syrup is completely dissolved. Add the thyme sprigs, remove the pot from the heat and set aside to steep for 15 to 20 minutes.

3.    In a medium bowl, whisk together the whole eggs and the yolks. Remove the thyme sprigs from the cream mixture and slowly whisk the warm cream into the egg mixture. Add a drop or two of truffle oil and pine extract, if using. Pour the custard into 12 six-ounce ramekins and bake until the custard is set, 20 to 25 minutes. Set aside to cool. Serve with maple syrup, bacon chips and fresh thyme.
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