I tried, I really did. I wanted to make the Blood Orange Baked Custards from Kate Bracks ‘The Sweet Life‘ as she intended them to be. They looked and sounded lovely. Then I shivered at the white sugar and the cream and, surprise, surprise, changed it up.
What I ended up with however was lovely and light enough for breakfast [yeah, I went there] but special enough for after dinner too. You can always see the original recipe here if you want to go full fat and full sugar!
Even with it being the middle of Blood Orange season right now I couldn’t locate any when I went looking, so I substituted with a mixture of juice from a Tangelo and a Pink Grapefruit, you can use anything really.
Simple, home-style recipes like this baked custard are what you will find in ‘The Sweet Life‘. Kate has structured her first cookbook so that each chapter is split into ‘The Basics…’ and ‘Beyond the Basics…’ categories.
Chapters cover dessert themes – Syrups & Sauces | Meringue | Custards & Sabayons | Ice Creams & Sorbets | Frozen Desserts | Gelatine | Pastry | Cakes & Puddings | Baked Treats – plus the special A Sweet Ending section that ups-the-anti with MasterChef level, multi-techniqued treats.
The book includes solid base recipes like pie crusts, meringues and simple ice creams before elaborating on flavour variations and more complex techniques. There are plenty of cakes and cookies – most are favourites from Kate’s own family – but you’ll also find two chapters of frozen desserts.
The book is good for new cooks wanting basic techniques and recipes, as well for those more advanced and looking for ideas on ingredient combinations and quick desserts for families. If anything, I found a few chapters a touch light-on, getting to the end and wanting another recipe or two, however the notable exception of that would be the robust number of frozen options due to the theme carrying across two chapters.
With her honest approach to ‘contemporary country cooking’ ‘The Sweet Life’ is sure to have something to please everyone in the family.
So I hope you enjoy my lightened twist for these Baked Citrus Custards – I’ve bookmarked Kate’s Amaretti Biscuits for later!
Baked Citrus Custard
Adapted from ‘The Sweet Life’ by Kate Bracks
- 1 egg + 2 egg yolks OR 2 eggs
- 2-3 Tbsp rice syrup, to taste
- zest of 1 citrus fruit
- 3/4 c natural pot-set yoghurt
- 1/4 c water
- 1/4 c tangelo juice + 2 Tbsp red grapefruit juice
- pinch sea salt
- tangelo and red grapefruit segments
- pistachio slivers
Preheat oven to 130C [265F]. Place 3 tea cups or ramekins into a baking dish or high-sided cake pan.
With an electric hand mixer, beat egg, egg yolks, rice syrup, zest and salt on medium for 4-5 minutes until thick and pale.
Beat in yoghurt and water until well combined. Beat in juices. Strain into a jug and let sit 5 minutes. Put on a pot of water to boil.
Spoon off and discard any froth from the top, pour custard mixture into the tea cups. Fill pan with boiling water to halfway up the cups and cover the pan with foil.
Bake in preheated oven for 55 minutes until tops are firm with a slight wobble underneath. Remove from pan and cool to room temperature. Refrigerate and serve cold, topped with citrus segments and pistachios.
Serves 3 [or one, 3 times, whatever]
- I couldn’t find Blood Oranges when I went to make these but the colour and flavour would be brilliant.
- The tang of the final custard will depend on the tangy-ness or mildness of the yogurt. Using natural pot-set or traditional Greek is quite important for the end product.
- The recipe above says to strain the custard mix before cooking, I couldn’t be bothered so I had bits of fruit and zest throughout. If you want it extra smooth, strain away.
- Vary the amount of rice syrup to taste, I only used 2 Tbsp but go for 3 if you wish.
- The original recipe made 6 custards. If you double this you can one add an extra egg yolk for good measure.