Saturday, May 18, 2013

Perfect For a Picnic: Coconut Custard Cups

Ever play the picnic game when you were little? You know, “I’m going on a picnic and I’m bringing…”  The way we played it, the thing you brought always had to begin with the first letter of your name. So let’s play. I’m going on a picnic and I’m bringing…coconut custard cups! Oops, I guess I lost the game. But I do have the cutest and most convenient desserts at the picnic. Can I still come?

Memorial Day is fast approaching and it’s a big picnic day for many. I started to think about the things I really would want to bring to a picnic and kept coming back to 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.  

This is what a slice of coconut custard pie in a glass looks like. Because you want to know what else says, “Take me to a picnic”? Mason jars. What could be easier than a dessert you can screw the cap onto, pack up, and go with? Everyone gets their own perfect sized portion, and there’s just something fun about eating  from a jar.

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!

Coconut Custard Cups
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.


Joan Nova said...

Fun narrative and cute/tasty dessert. Great idea!

Faith said...

I love everything about this! Great idea serving it in jars - how perfect for a picnic! The cookies on top were the perfect touch.

deana sidney said...

desserts do often cause the biggest mess on picnics. Pies and cakes do not travel well and often end up smushed or spilled. This is a perfect way to bring a sweet to the party. Delicious custard with the coconut and a perfect addition to the scandal.

Shannon Grande said...

anything in ball jars gets me excited! and i love coconut, so this is especially delicious :) said...

Definely a favorite...coconut and custar....I will take three..

Victoria said...

Food in jars are so popular right now, and you would definitely be VERY popular at our picnic with those lovely coconut-laced desserts. Very nice!

Jennifer Kendall said...

these are so cute! loved the post!

Lazaro Cooks said...

Love your choice for dessert. Good job.

Angela said...

I grew up eating coconut custard. This would be welcome at my house anytime.

LaDivaCucina said...

YUM YUM YUM YUM YUM! I LOVE coconut and custard! I'll keep this recipe for another time, thank you!

Lori Lynn said...

Love that both you and Angela brought dessert in a jar. Sounds delicious. Love the STARS too!