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8 Eggs, 2 Desserts

For a lot of folks out there (not the least are the chicken farmers), right now, there’s a whole lotta egg action going on. And it’s the same at Chez Siberia as well. With three dozen eggs staring me in the face in the fridge and guests coming for dinner, Aunt Toby needed to come up with something that was going to use up a lot of eggs. Although I was aiming for a dozen, I managed to get through eight and created two desserts, one of which you can eat right away and one which you can eat over a period of time or you can put the two together or what have you:

Creme Brulee: This is a real ‘going out to dinner’ treat, which our son recently discovered (he’s finally old enough to have an appreciation for more subtle desserts and no longer requires two inches of chocolate cement held together with gobs of whatever). I have to admit that I’ve never made it at home, held back, strangely enough, by the final step, because I don’t own one of those nifty little butane blow torches. I have now been informed that you can get them at Bed, Bath and Bewildered. However, the rest, as they say, is simplicity itself. And remember, this is a custard that happens to be made with heavy creme. You could make the same dessert by substituting half and half and saving yourself a bunch of calories. Of course, if you do that, you can no longer call it ‘creme brulee’ but it would be probably just as good and little bit lighter.
This is creme brulee for a whole lot of people – serves 12 with little servings(so you will need a whole lot of ramekins or little glass bowls) or six people who really like creme brulee.
8 egg yolks
1/3 cup granulated white sugar
2 cups of heavy cream (that’s a pint carton)
1 tsp of vanilla extract
a little granulated sugar for the tops when you want to caramelize them

Pre-heat the oven to 300 degrees F.
Beat up the egg yolks in a big bowl until light.
Gradually beat in the 1/3 cup of sugar until all mixed in
Add, in little dribs, the heavy cream and the vanilla and thoroughly mix in

Take a large baking dish and put in enough hot water so that you have a depth of about an inch to an inch and a half.
Divide up the egg and cream mixture into 6 ramekins. If you have a big enough baking pan (and enough ramekins), I think you can divide it up into 8 ramekins, which will make a slightly smaller serving but probably still very nice if you serve it with some fresh washed berries on the side.
Put the ramekins into the baking pan with the water and put on the center rack of the oven.
Bake for 50-60 minutes. You will know to take it out when you lift up one of the ramekins and shake it a little bit; the custard should still be a little bit loose in the center. It will firm up when you chill it.
Once the custard is done, take out the baking pan and leave out until the water is room temperature. Then take out the ramekins and put into the fridge. Chill for at least two hours.
Just before you want to serve them, dust the tops with a little bit of sugar. This should take maybe a teaspoon, no more than that. Since I did not have a torch, I preheated my broiler and put the rack on the highest setting. I put in the ramekins for two minutes (I ended up taking them out after about a minute and a half though; this is something you need to keep an eagle eye on because what you want to happen is for the sugar to melt, not burn). Take them out wait for the ramekins to cool and put back in the fridge for a little while to re-chill and serve.

The second dessert is something that recently has become quite chic in the French version in the United States, macarons. I grew up with the Passover commercial versions of these, which used to come packed in tins. These are not ‘kosher le-Pasach” (kosher for Passover) because they use a little wheat flour in them; to make them for Passover, you can substitute potato starch for the flour.

Coconut Macaroons (this can be divided by half and it still works): Makes – A Lot
8 large egg whites
2 cups of sugar
2 tablespoons of honey (try not using something like clover, which really has no flavor)
5 cups of unsweetened, dried shredded coconut (you can usually find this in natural foods stores)
1/4 cup of flour (cake if you have it, all-purpose will work) – for Passover, use potato starch
1 tsp flavoring (I used orange, but you can use anything from vanilla, almond, etc. – for Passover, don’t use any flavoring if you can’t get ‘Passover flavoring’ at your grocery store)

In a large pan (I needed my dutch oven), mix together the sugar, flour, and coconut together and add the honey.
Then add the egg whites and mix together thoroughly. It will have the consistency of cooked oatmeal.
heat over a low-medium heat (on my stove, the burner was just slightly under half way), stirring constantly and scraping the bottom of the pan, turning the mixture under over and over.
When you start seeing the mixture turning brown on the bottom, remove the pan from the heat and stir in the flavoring. Transfer to a bowl to cool to room temperature. This is going to take a while – mine took about 30 minutes.
Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees F. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper. Don’t substitute waxed paper for this, ok? Put tablespoons of the mixture on the paper. Use the spoon to make mounds – DO NOT PRESS THESE DOWN. The goal is to end up with a product that is crispy and crunchy on the outside and moist and chewy on the inside. So you want a little mound there.
Bake for about 15 minutes and check. If they are brown on the outside, take them out and let them sit. If not, let them bake for another couple of minutes, but you will need to check on them because they go from ‘lovely’ to ‘blow torch’ rather quickly. The macaroons can be frozen. The dough can also be frozen for up to two months before you have to use it.


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One Comment

  1. Auntie Allyn says:

    Lovely! I got a dozen of the most gorgeous freshly-laid brown eggs at my nearby farmers market on Friday, and have been enjoying souffles for lunch or dinner every day since then. My recipe (for one person) uses one whole egg and one egg white, so I ought to be able to use up the dozen eggs before I leave town on Saturday (hate to waste those gorgeous eggs).

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