Posted by: Mimi Hiller 09-07-99 10:31 AM
1/2 cup cold water
3 tbsp black tea (any grade)
3 pieces crystallized ginger
3 green cardamom pods
6 black peppercorns (optional)
4 cloves (optional)
1 cinnamon stick, broken
2 1/2 cups whole milk
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract (optional)
butter (for custard cups, optional)
nutmeg (to taste, optional)
Preheat oven to 325F (slow oven).
In large saucepan, combine water, tea, ginger, cardamom, peppercorns, cloves, and cinnamon. Bring to a boil, with gentle stirring. Add milk slowly with vigorous stirring. Bring back to boil slowly, stirring continuously; strain liquid and set aside.
In bowl, combine eggs, sugar, salt, and vanilla extract thoroughly. Add tea liquid slowly with rapid mixing to bring eggs up to temperature, mix thoroughly. Pour liquid into custard cups lightly greased with butter, about 7/8 full.
Place cups in pan of water such that custard is immersed to about same level as water. Dust custard with nutmeg and bake in oven at 325F for about an hour. Check periodically, do not let water in pan boil off (add cold water if necessary). Test with a knife in center, if knife comes out clean they are done. Allow to cool in refrigerator.
Can be removed from cups to display dark spiced top, or served in cups to display brown spiced top.
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