Savory (cheese) and sweet (custard) come together in chef Carolyn Johnson’s appetizer recipe. She whips tangy blue cheese, like Great Hill Blue, into an egg and cream base, transitioning custard from the dessert to the dinner table. Johnson’s instructions yield eight ramekins-worth, which she suggests serving with roasted beets and a frisee salad for a balanced beginning to a meal.
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup creme fraiche
- 1 cup crumbled blue cheese (such as Great Hill Blue)
- 5 large eggs
- salt and pepper
- 1-2 quarts hot (near boiling) water
- Preheat oven to 325°F. In the bowl of a mixer, combine the heavy cream, creme fraiche and 1/2 cup of the blue cheese. Using the whisk attachment, combine until smooth.
- In a small bowl, beat the eggs lightly. Slowly add the eggs the cheese mixture while the mixer is running.
- Season the custard base with salt and pepper and continue to mix until smooth.
- Place 8 ramekins in an oven-proof baking dish. Divide the custard equally into the ramekins. Sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup of blue cheese into the centers of the custards.
- Gently pour the hot water into the baking dish until it comes halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Cover the dish lightly with foil, making sure to leave the ends open for steam to escape.
- Bake the custards for 12 minutes, then rotate in the oven and bake for another 12 minutes.The custards are done when there is no jiggle in the center and they are just starting to puff up.
- Let the custards cool slightly before removing from water bath. Serve warm or chill for a few hours or overnight.