Posts Tagged ‘parmesan custard’

An attempt at improvising le Café Anglais’ legendary menu item had me feeling like Midas with a golden pond at sunset gilding each ramekin, but we found a custard richer than Croesus made a heavy hors d’oeuvre.  Mind you, I was using all-double cream, whereas surprisingly, Mr Leigh advises a lean – almost mean – half milk/half single blend.

Parmesan custard, anchovy toast, Stilton cream
So, with budget and midriff in mind I gladly followed his recipe to the letter, although being disinclined to faff I can’t say the same for the anchovy toast and fell in with anchovy infantrymen instead.

Although Rowley’s recipe worked well enough, a touch of cornflour would have seen off all splitting and a dose of double cream will undoubtedly up its unctuousness.  After all, if you’re going to the trouble of making this at home it might as well feel like a little luxury.

Gastroplod’s Parmesan custards & anchovy infantrymen

(with thanks to Rowley Leigh for providing my template)

  • 300ml double cream
  • 300ml full fat milk or single cream
  • 100g finely grated Parmesan
  • 4 egg yolks
  • a scant tablespoon cornflour
  • pepper, nutmeg
  • sliced wholemeal sandwich bread
  • anchoïade/anchovy paste/Gentlemen’s Relish

Lightly butter six ramekins. Scald the cream and milk in a heavy based pan then whisk in the Parmesan, keeping back a tablespoon or two for gratinating the tops, and stir to melt thoroughly.  Leave to cool as rapidly as you can.

Set the oven to 150C.  Whisk the egg yolks with the cornflour, making sure there are no lumps and everything is well blended, then whisk the yolk mixture into the cream/milk with a good grinding of pepper and grating of nutmeg.

Place the ramekins in a bain-marieand bake for 20 minutes, until just set.  Remove from the oven and turn on the grill to medium-high.  Take the ramekins from the water bath to arrest cooking and sprinkle the custards with the reserved Parmesan, then place under a hot grill for just a couple of minutes to burnish.

Toast some brown bread, scrape lightly with anchoïade, anchovy paste or Gentlemen’s Relish (Patum Peperium) and cut into soldiers for dunking into the custard; serve immediately or your warriors may turn into wimps…

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parmesan custard with anchovy toastOh joy! Today’s FT features Rowley Leigh sharing his wit, wisdom and, best of all, the recipe for this hot hors d’oeuvre, the talk of London town since the opening of his raved-over restaurant Le Café Anglais, which, I see, now has a visit-worthy website.
Touching to read Rowley got his inspiration for this dish from watching Rick Stein on TV; so much joy in one little weekend.

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