”From the French have come many excellent things. Nothing related to wartime, mind you, but if you’re looking for ways to enjoy the finer things in life there are no wiser people. Take the Pots de Creme, for instance, a truly decadent preparation that is quite possibly the king of desserts.”
Rich, creamy, delectable. Pots de Creme are one of the greatest inventions of the 17th Century, and they’ve remained a favorite treat in the centuries since. Pots de Creme Day celebrates these delicious treats and their long history.
History of Pots de Creme Day
In the 17th-century Pots de Creme started becoming popular and were originally created filling crusts like a pie. As time went on they were made in smaller portions and the crust was eliminated. While it remains incredibly popular, many people have difficulty pronouncing it. It is not, as the name suggests, “Pawts deh Creem”, but in fact is pronounced “Po de Krehm”. But no matter how you pronounce it, it’ absolutely delicious and a complete breeze to make!
Pots de Creme are, at their most basic, just four ingredients, but once you master the basic recipe a whole world of possibility opens up. Fruit flavors were incredibly common, especially when prepared with fresh fruit, or you could enjoy them as a rich chocolate or butterscotch. Really, there was no end to what these little custards could be. That’s right! These are lightly prepared custards, but the French didn’t have a word for custard so they called them Pots de Creme.
How to Celebrate Pots de Creme Day
Pots de Creme day is an excellent opportunity for you to discover the ease with which they can be made and the unlimited variety that comes out of one simple recipe. First, start off with a basic vanilla version.
Pots de Creme
6 cups heavy cream
1 ½c whole milk
¾t kosher salt
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
18 large egg yolks
Whipped Cream (for serving)
Begin by putting a rack on the middle space of an oven, and begin preheating until it reaches 300F. Blend together the milk, salt, and cream in a large pot, split the vanilla bean and scrape the seeds into it. Slowly bring the pot to a simmer over medium heat, stirring to prevent the bottom from burning.
While that heats, whisk the egg yolks and sugar until they reach a light golden color, and then pour the hot cream into the yolk blend, whisking until smooth. Then strain it through a fine sieve into a pitcher. Place the ramekins on a roasting pan and fill each of them until they’re half full. Bake for 25-30 minutes, and then cool in a water bath for 5 minutes. Then transfer it to a wire rack and let them cool down. Place in a refrigerator and allow to chill for four hours.
Top with whipped cream, and serve!