Honey and Vanilla Pots de Crème
for the Monthly Mingle hosted by CookRepublic featuring ‘honey’
Walking through my local market yesterday, iPhone in hand, Epicurious on my screen, I struggled to flip through recipes while pushing my cart at an unacceptably slow pace. Searching for a good recipe that featured honey, I perused options …
Eggs on my left (always unrefrigerated in Europe)…Milk and cream on my right.
Glancing back at my phone, I came across a panna cotta that looked interesting. But I was glad I didn’t choose it, as Meeta at What’s For Lunch Honey, who originated the virtual Monthly Mingle potluck I wanted to attend, (work with me here), did make a gorgeous one. Eggs, milk and honey rolled around my mind as I ducked into a quiet corner where the dairy case meets the bio section. A lovely wildflower honey whispered to me.
Then vanilla flashed across my internal screen…
I wanted to get myself out of the traffic flow as there is this cultural curiosity in Germany, at least to me, as a foreigner. People sort of claim rights to their personal bubble and unless you really whack someone, people don’t jump in with an ‘excuse me’ every five seconds.
Brainstorming, I was struck by images of ingredients and bingo, pots de crème it would be.
As for me, I’m dropping ‘Entschuldigungs’ left and right. Which in my mind means excuse me, but in German, literally means ‘I’m sorry’. At first I found it odd and frankly a little rude when people brushed passed with little expression or verbal communication. I asked O about it and he squarely said, “Why should they be sorry?” And I’m like “Well, it’s not sorry, but it’s like a heads up… I’m coming very close to your aura and I might bump into you, or for sure it.” After some discussion we came to an understanding that… that’s just not how it’s done here. He duly demonstrated in the market by saying “entschuldigung” every time he passed near to someone with his graceful body or to take his cart round a fellow human, and people just looked at him like he was nuts.
Hmmm do I want nuts with this pots de crème… nah… maybe some berries. Crushed. With a dash of sugar to bring out the juices.
Do I follow the ‘when in Rome’? Rarely. I’ve come to accept that nobody’s going to say ‘excuse me’ in any language, unless they’ve literally run over my foot. I get it. I accept it. I don’t take it personally. But for me, excuse me spills from my lips if I even think there is an ever so slight possibility that I might come anywhere near the vicinity of another’s personal space. And when my ‘entschuldigungs’ erupt from my mouth, there is no question about the accent and they can’t help but return my smile. Usually. Honestly? When it comes down to it? That’s what I crave. Interaction. Smiles. Acknowledgement that we are indeed inhabiting the same close proximity… and hello, may my pleasant gesture lift your spirits, if only for a moment.
Now I’ve got honey vanilla pots de crème that will truly lift your spirits and those with whom you choose to share them.
It’s such a simple recipe there is really no excuse not to make it!
Ingredients: Serves 4 1/3 cup honey (choice of flavor will dominate) 1 cup whipping cream 1/2 cup milk 1 vanilla bean 4 yolks pinch of salt 3/4 cup whipping cream for garnish fresh berries (optional)
Heat up milk, cream, honey, scored vanilla bean including the pod in a saucepan. Bring to a simmer then set aside to infuse for at least 30 minutes.
Yolks are beat on medium for about 2 minutes till color lightens.
Lightly whisk cream mixture into yolks and pour into ramekins. Fill with about 1/2 inch hot water and cover with foil. Bake at 300-325° for 30-40 minutes.
Simple. Elegant. Can be made ahead. Outrageously good.
You can choose whether to serve with or without the berries. These are dusted with a little vanilla powder.
Now please go check out who else is at the potluck.
PS – This cow from Somerset begged me to be in the post.