Easy Custards: French Lemon Creme Pots (Pots de Cremè au Citron)
Chilled, delectable portions of a creamy lemon custard are the perfect canvas for your favorite fruit garnish.
Pot de Creme, is the little-known cousin of Creme Caramel (which is a flan made with whole eggs and milk and cooked in a caramelized form) and Creme Brulee’ (which is made with cream and egg yolks and caramelized at the end). The slight difference of ingredients and balance of milk and cream results in a soft custard that is not too heavy to enjoy after a meal. Although the original uses vanilla instead of lemon peel to infuse flavor in the custard, I made my version to taste fresh and tarty and contrast with the sweet blackberries and blackberry syrup garnish.But you could garnish these cuties with any fresh fruit you like, or even fancy things up by macerating the fruit in red wine and sugar, or caramellize it under the grill or… with fruit syrup made in the pressure cooker, like in this recipe!
Pressure Cooker Recipe: French Lemon Creme (Pots de Cremè au Citron)
Yields 10 Espresso cups or 6 Ramekins.
1 cup or 250 ml Whole Milk
Peel the skin of the lemon with the potato peeler to get wide strips of zest. Then, in a heavy-bottomed sauce-pan, on medium heat without the top, add the milk, cream and lemon zest. Stir occasionally until the mixture begins to bubble. Turn off the heat and let cool (about 20-30 minutes).
While the mixture is cooling prepare your pressure cooker by adding the minimum amount of water and trivet and set it aside. Also, gather all of the equipment and ingredients for the next steps. For example, if you are using espresso cups – you may want to cut the tin-foil into strips and then half to get little squares to cover the small cups.
In a mixing bowl, add the egg yolks and sugar, whisk until the sugar is dissolved. Then, when the cream & milk mixture has cooled a bit, pour it slowly and incorporate it into the yolks. Stir with your whisk just enough to get everything mixed together well (do not whip).
Next, pour the mixture slowly through a strainer into a spouted container (if you have one, it will make pouring the mixture into the cups or ramekins, easy).
Pour into cups or ramekins, cover with foil and arrange in steamer basket so that all are sitting straight (otherwise you will get a crooked diagonal creme). Lower the basket into the pressure cooker carefully, and if you still have some vertical space and extra cups, you can stack the additional cups on top in a second layer.
Close and lock the pressure cooker. Turn the heat up to high and calculate 10 minutes cooking time for ramekins and only 5 minutes cooking time for espresso cups at HIGH pressure. When time is up, open the pressure cooker using the Natural Release method – move the cooker to cold burner and don’t do anything and wait for the pressure to come down naturally (about 10 minutes).
Open the pressure cooker and carefully lift out the custards. Open the first and jiggle it a bit. It should be nearly solid, but not liquid – they will solidify further when chilled. Remove the custards and leave to cool uncovered for about 30-45 minutes.
Once the custards are cooled, cover them in plastic wrap and place them in the fridge to chill – for easy toting, I put them back in the steamer basket.
Serve with fresh fruit and fruit syrup drizzled on top.