Memorial Day is fast approaching and it’s a big picnic day for many, which is why it is this month’s theme for the Creative Cooking Crew. I started to think about the things I really would want to bring to a picnic and kept coming back to good old all-American pie. Pie might be a great conclusion to any meal, but it’s especially perfect for picnics. I always imagine it atop a red and white gingham tablecloth ready to be snatched up by Yogi Bear. Though my coconut custard cups are not the traditional picture of pie, your taste buds won't be able to tell the difference.
The custards are made with coconut milk and toasted shredded coconut along with other typical custard things like heavy cream and egg yolks, and they are baked right inside of the jars in a hot water bath. 4-ounce glass mason jars or ramekins are the perfect size; anything deeper than about 2 inches won’t cook evenly. To give the feeling of a piecrust, I caramelized sugar on top of the custards like crème brûlée and placed a buttery shortbread cookie on each. Use your favorite shortbread recipe, and cut into fun shapes if you choose. Happy picnicking!
For more great ideas on what to pack in your Memorial Day picnic basket this year, click the link below:
Coconut Custard CupsPrint
Yield: 6 servings in 4-ounce mason jars or ramekins
- 2 cups heavy cream
- ¾ can coconut milk
- 4 eggs yolks
- ½ cup sugar, plus ½ cup for brûlée topping
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup sweet shredded coconut, toasted
1) Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a medium saucepan, combine the heavy cream and coconut. Bring to a boil. In the meantime, whisk together the egg yolks, ½ cup sugar, salt, and vanilla extract, until well-blended and lightened in color. Add the hot cream to the egg yolk mixture a little at a time, whisking continually. Stir in the toasted coconut.
2) Add the mixture to small 4-ounce glass mason jars, oven-safe shallow bowls, or ramekins, filling up to 2” high. Place the filled cups into a roasting pan with enough hot water to reach halfway up the side of each.
3) Bake until the custard is set around the sides, but still jiggles a little in the center, about 45 minutes-1 hour. Refrigerate 2 hours-overnight. When ready to serve, sprinkle the remaining sugar evenly over the tops of each custard, then brûlée or caramelize the tops with a blowtorch. Top with mini shortbread cookies, if desired.