Sunday, 3 June 2012

Cauli-Rice Custard

Do you remember custard--from a can?  My ex-husband's family would serve custard with everything--it's an Irish thing--hot custard on ice cream, on coffee cakes, on birthday cake, over stewed rhubarb....  Never made it from scratch, though.  It came in powder form in a tin.  Custard makes me think of Teletubbies (sad, but true)--they LOVED custard--"Tubby Custard" to be exact.  How do I know this stuff?  My daughter was into the Teletubbies, and I barely survived it.  Many hours endured.  Barely.  The Teletubbies could drive any mother to drink.  Or to scarf down hot custard. 
I've had an awful hankering for the stuff lately, probably because rhubarb is coming up and I don't have any growing, which makes me sad.  Now, I LOVED custard, but it didn't love me back.  You see, its almost all dairy.  But it got me thinking.....  Could I make it with coconut milk?  Why yes, you can.  Coconut milk makes a really thick, rich custard in fact.  Which got me thinking more, and more....
So last week, I made custard with squash and pumpkin pie spice.  I made it with only 2 eggs, whole eggs, and while it was delicious, it wasn't filling enough.  So I added more eggs after the fact, and the wet squash gave the whole thing a kindof oatmeal-y texture.   Delish, but not pretty, so that one will get a little more experimentation yet.
But then I thought--what about rice pudding?  Not real rice.  Cauli-rice.  Sure, you can heat shredded cauliflower in coconut milk, but wouldn't coconut milk custard--made with 5 eggs--be more filling?  In fact, wouldn't it be breakfast food?  Yes, I think it is.  It definitely is.  You can still vaguely taste the cauliflower, I will admit.  But its slight sweet, thick, creamy, and reminds me very much of my tubby-custard days.  You can experiment with the sweetness if you like. 

This made 5 servings


1 1/2 cans full-fat coconut milk
5 eggs
1 tbsp tapioca starch
3 tsp honey
3-4 scoops stevia powder
2 tsp vanilla

1/2 head cauliflower, riced
2-3 handfuls raisins (about 1/2 cup)
2 tbsp butter
1 tbsp cinnamon
dash nutmeg
3 tbsp honey

extra cinnamon and crystallised raw sugar (coconut sugar or something like that is perfect), for garnish


Ever done an egg-bath?**  In a large bowl, whisk your eggs with your tapioca starch.  Pull out all the custard ingredients and keep them nearby.  Pour your coconut milk into a saucepan and heat it, whisking frequently, over medium heat, until steaming hot (scalding, but not scorched).  Turn heat down a bit and take pot off burner.  With one hand whisking eggs, slowly add hot coconut milk to eggs.  Keep whisking eggs until you've added all the milk.  This will stop them from curdling.  Then pour the whole mixture back into the pot and put it back on the burner.  Whisk constantly until it thickens and will coat the back of a spoon.  Do not boil.  Remove from heat and add all other custard ingredients.  There.  If you just want hot custard for stewed rhubarb, you're done.  If not, set aside and move onto the rice.

Take out a large skillet.  Turn it onto alittle above medium heat and add your butter.  Add all the other ingredients except the honey.  Heat, stirring frequently, until cauli begins to soften.  Don't over-cook it or make it too mushy or it'll be too wet.  When tender, add honey and remove from heat.

Stir custard and rice together.  Taste for sweetness.

Divide among 5 dishes and garnish with cinnamon and crystallised raw sugar of choice.

**If you're really careful, you could short-cut the custard and just whisk the eggs, tapioca and coconut milk together, and heat slowly, whisking constantly, until it thickens.  Again, do not boil or it will curdle.  Then add all the rest of the custard ingredients. 

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