Honey & Vanilla Pots de crème

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!

Honey Vanilla Pots de Crème – print recipe

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.

Thanks to Meeta and Cook Republic for this months mingle and I’m looking forward to more…

Now please go check out who else is at the potluck.


PS – This cow from Somerset begged me to be in the post.

55 responses

  1. Love your British cow … great shot – your photos really make the dishes jump out from the screen. You should become a food stylist – loads of money in that – we paid mega bucks for ours.
    Love dessert – always read the dessert section first when I dine out. *smile. In Sweden we never say “excuse me” or “thank you” for somebody holding up the door for us – I normally say to to them – sorry, what you say and they answer – I said nothing .. I replay – just what I heard then. We are very manner-less in Sweden, and so are Northern Germany .. much better in the South. By the way this goes on file.


    • Yes Viveka.. would love to head in that direction- hook me up!
      I loved that cow too. Couldn’t figure out where to fit her in, so pasted her at the bottom. Thanks for scrolling all the way through!
      I find it a personal challenge to instigate smiles 😉


      • Wendy, I think you have a fantastic eye for details – learned so much from our stylist .. nothing was cooked – most food has to be raw and then they colour it with tea – fully cooked meat looks dry on pictures. It’s really another world and it’s 90% cheating – some serious money in it.


      • No it wouldn’t … you would get use to it – because you have a talent in how to look at food and the styling around it. Wendy, I’m dead serious – do a bit of research.


  2. I LOVE your pictures – they look beautiful and totally professional! If I didn’t know you’d just been on a course I would very likely ask if you had been 🙂 The recipe looks good, too; I’ll have to try that.
    And as for our “Entschuldigungs”… it’s not for nothing that we Germans are known as a cold and rude people! Luckily we’re not all like that – I often curse after rude people at the market or supermarket (which I guess makes me a rude person, too…) but I mostly apply the “smile offensive” and find that even the rudest people smile back and realise not everyone’s out to burst their personal bubble 😀


    • Hi Kiki, I’m on a pots de creme kick. Will be posting a Kahlua/ coffee one soon. They are so easy.
      And I’ve gotten use to the cultural thing… it’s just learning to understand and not take everything so effing personally, (like Americans do!)
      And I’m not going to stop smiling to fit in. It’s just not my nature :-).
      btw- how do you make that extra big grin on the yellow guy?


  3. Personal space!! That is I think very important to us here in America. Growing up in South Asia and all over the middle east, I can tell you there is very little personal space and certainly nobody saying “excuse me” for invading it! The recipe looks Ah.Ma.ZING. I’ve never tried Pots de Creme but looks a bit like creme brulee so I must try it!


    • Love getting some different perspectives. Wouldn’t it be great if that was integrated into our course studies… a part of cultural differences, awareness, tolerance?
      You must try pots de creme… google it and you will see tons of recipes with different ratios of egg to milk/cream. You just have to experiment a little.
      I’m always partial to the chocolate ones too. It’s similar to creme brulee but I find the pots d.c a little denser and smoother- less jiggly.
      I love in both how you can infuse the cream with infinite flavors. Also love lemongrass.


  4. The recipe sounds divine!!
    As for “excuse me” I think it is a cultural thing. Like Desi says, in southeast Asia I think its because there is very little personal space so you just have to make your space and there is no “excuse me.” I used to get so frustrated when living in Hawaii where we had a lot of Asian visitors and I always thought they were very rude. Now I understand it is more a cultural thing – that’s just the way it is “back home” for them.


    • I think it’s a blessing to experience all these cultural differences. It really reminds me there is never only one way to do things and this spills over into the rest of my life too…a good thing.


    • Thanks you! I swear I could do a dance with each ingredient. I feel as attached to the parts as I do to the end product.
      I so look forward to a garden again some day – from seed to mouth.


    • yah… am just testing to see who actually scrolls all the way down. You and Viveka can share the mandoline giveaway… jk.
      Glad you all like the pics… cause Foodgawker just don’t know! … ever watch Friday with ice cube… “Ms Jones jusst don’t KNOW”. ok now i’m really divulging too much information.


    • Yes! The berries are piling in now. Two overflowing boxes of ripe, scented strawberries just bought at the market are waiting on my counter to be transformed into cobbler tonight along with a little rhubarb unscorched by the recent sun. Can’t. Stop. Cooking.


  5. I might add….I was drinking tea while reading this and suddenly honey sounded like a very good tea addition.


  6. Sounds easy enough to try. Thanks. great photographs — you learned something in England!
    See you soon Hannah


  7. hmmmm…your pictures are fantastic! I thought it would be the perfect recipe for dessert tomorrow with the first strawberries from our garden on top. But now they are all gone, either the snails or my family just couldn’t wait…


  8. Pingback: Monthly Mingle May 2012 Roundup – Oh Honey! | Cook Republic

  9. I love what you’ve done with the photo layout – it really brings the whole post to a whole new level of great. This looks divine – wish I could eat cream! 😛


  10. Pingback: Coffee and Kahlua Pots de Creme « Chez Chloe

    • Thanks Carol Anne… I’m lovin the pots de creme kick.
      And I love cows. I’ve been a pretty avid meat eater but lately have seen too many cows up close and it’s put me off eating them. Not sure what to think about it!


  11. Hi Wendy, I just found your blog. Thanks for the recipes! I was looking for a fun dessert for our Super Bowl party. This Honey & Vanilla Pots de Creme is perfect! I will have to garnish with blue & green, like everything else in Seattle these days. Maybe blueberries & kiwi? Unless you have a better idea….?
    Go Seahawks! Thanks again, ~Arla


      • Great idea Wendy, Thanks! We spent Christmas in New Zealand this year, visiting our son. Pavlovas and Kiwis are popular desserts there. My daughter couldn’t get enough. She ordered a pavlova at every restaurant we visited. I haven’t made one myself. Maybe It’s time for me to give it a try?? ~Arla


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