August 28th, 2012
I can’t believe I’m back from vacation.
I can’t believe I’m already swamped!
I will not get stressed. I will not get stressed.
Things are getting frantic quickly. There’s still two weeks before I have to wake up early, pack a lunch, send (two!) kids off to school (in two! different places), and I’m already feeling it. I know that a lot of you have already started the school year routine. It’s quite a shift, huh?
I’m focusing hard on remembering that the insanity—the appointments, schedule, activities—don’t have to mean a shift away from cooking. The produce is still spectacular here and I’m still inspired. I hope you are, too, because we’re going to keep it going.
We are going to breathe. And cook. And enjoy the still-warm weather.
We are going to hold on to the last days of summer, even once school has started.
We are going to ignore the Halloween displays because, even if it’s just in a few days, it’s not even September yet.
You with me? Great!
Need inspiration? No problem. Here it is, in the form of a super easy, seasonal dessert with a fun middle eastern twist.
This is easy to make. It’s a reminder that we can still take our time to do fun summer cooking with great summer ingredients. Even as the early days of fall approach.
I adapted this recipe from Martha Stewart’s Baked Raspberry Custard. It takes 10 minutes to prep and 30 minutes to make. So worth it, especially since Italian plums are at peak season. They are gorgeous here right now.
Maybe you can’t make this tonight. Maybe not even tomorrow night. The weekend’s right around the corner, though, and the farmer’s market will be brimming with Italian plums. You can find 40 minutes this weekend to cook something special, right? Do it and let me know what you think.
Baked Plum Custard with Rose Water and Pistachios
adapted from Martha Stewart
(can be shared with kids 12+ mos)*
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
1/2 cup shelled, salted pistachios
3/4 cup whole milk
3 large eggs
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour (you can substitute gluten-free blend)
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
3/4 teaspoon rose water
12 fresh Italian plums, washed and quartered
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In oven, melt butter in a 9″ pie plate, about 6 minutes.
2. Put pistachios in a blender or food processor and grind until they are the texture of coarse sand. Set aside and rinse the machine.
3. In the same, cleaned out blender or food processor, combine milk, eggs, 1/2 cup sugar, flour, salt, and rose water. Add melted butter and blend mixture until smooth, 30 seconds.
4. Distribute plum pieces evenly in the pie plate and pour the batter over top. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon sugar and bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle ground pistachios evenly over the top of the custard. Put custard back in the oven and continue baking until slightly puffed and just set in middle, 10 to 15 more minutes.
(Note: Martha’s Baked Raspberry Custard recipe, on which this one is based, recommends that, at this point, you broil the custard until top is deep golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes. I didn’t need to do this. If you feel like you do, to get a deeper golden brown color, be careful not to burn the pistachios.)
*Note: While it is considered safe to carefully introduce nuts to children younger than 12 months, I recommend holding off on this dessert until 12 months due to the relatively high sugar content. If you so choose, it is okay to share this with younger children already safely eating pistachios. No matter how old the folks you’re feeding, be sure to serve age appropriate portions. A little of this sweet treat goes a long way for wee ones.