As much as I drool over hot and spicy stuff, I am a complete dessert fanatic at heart! So much so that at-times to satisfy my sweet tooth I have cereal for dinner just to taste the sweetness from the honey. My childhood sweet treats revolved around super delicious Indian sweets like gulab jamun, sheera, jalebi, kalakand and so forth. Mom would bake us cakes once in a while at home, but other than that muffins, cupcakes, pies and pastries were not a part of our sugary indulgence. And that might be a part of the reason why I find baking intriguing.
So, if there is one thing that I really want to explore right now in my kitchen, it is the world of ‘Baking’ and ‘Pastry’. To me, baking is a culmination of science and creativity. Cooking is forgiving. Baking? Not so much! Too much or too little baking soda and baking powder, over-mixing/under-mixing the batter, over-baking/under-baking and so forth. I have my share of successes and disasters with baking….but each time it has been a learning experience. I love learning and understanding the chemistry behind baking (No, chemistry wasn’t really my fav subject in college) and the purpose of the basic baking ingredients. I want to experiment with flavors, textures and reach a point where I am pretty confident about the techniques and say to myself “baking……that is a piece of cake!” I want to be able to bake a cake, a pie, a pastry, or a cup-cake without doubting the ingredient measurements and/or fearing if it would end in a disaster.
This scrumptious ‘lemon and coconut custard’ is a kind of treat that you will not stop raving about when you are enjoying it and that will haunt you after it’s all gone! It has a great balance of flavors – the tartness from the lemons and sweetness from the coconut. I have mostly made custard using custard powder which is definitely quite delicious and is a quicker version but after making it from scratch I believe this is how I want to make it every time when time permits. I used both egg yolks and whites here. When baking this, the water baths are very important since you want the top firm but the inside still soft and creamy.The egg yolks, milk, the whipped-up-frothy egg whites and finally the water-bath make this custard super creamy, light and delicate.
Enjoy this lemony-coconuty goodness dusted with powdered sugar as a dreamy dessert!
Prep time: 25 mins
Bake time: 25 mins
Chill time: At-least 2 hours
- Lemon juice – 1/4th cup
- Dry Coconut Powder/Flakes – 1/3rd cup
- Salt – 1/4th spoon
- Eggs – 3 – separated- Sugar – 3/4th cup
- All purpose flour – 1/3rd cup
- Milk – 1 cup
- Lemon zest – 1 tsp
- Powdered sugar – for garnish
1. Preheat oven to 350 deg F.
2. Zest a lemon to yield a couple of tsps. Then, juice the lemons to yield about 1/4th cup of juice. Set aside.
3. In a mixing bowl, take half of the sugar. Add one egg yolk at a time and whisk well until the sugar is well blended.
4. Slowly add milk to the egg yolks and whisk for a couple of mins. Add lemon juice and coconut powder to this mixture and mix everything together.
5. In another mixing bowl, take the egg whites, the remaining sugar and salt. Whisk, whisk and whisk until the egg whites are light and foamy. Add this to the egg-yolk mixture and very gently fold it in.
6. Grease the ramekins with butter/butter spray. Pour the custard into the ramekins. Heat/boil some water on stove or in the microwave. Take oven-safe deep dishes, place the ramekins into it and slowly add the hot water into the deep dish from the sides so that the water covers up-to half of the ramekins.
7. Bake for 25 mins until the top is firm, yet the inside is nice and creamy. When done, remove from oven and let them cool to room temperature. Pop them into the refrigerator and chill for at-least a couple of hours before serving.
Garnish with lemon slices, sprinkle some lemon zest, coconut powder and finally dust with powdered sugar.
For a more coconut-y flavor, substitute milk with coconut milk.