Cakespy: Inglourious Custards

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[Original artwork and photographs: Jessie Oleson]

In the film Inglourious Basterds, a group going by the same name is set on taking down an evil regime in a blaze of glory. It's pretty intense.

And should you desire something intensely delicious as you watch, I couldn't imagine a more enjoyable treat than these Inglourious Custards.

These mini custards are an ideal cinematic snack: perfect portions of smooth, creamy vanilla custard in lightly crunchy phyllo cups which act as a vessel (a forgiving one, at that, if your custard hasn't set completely) as well as adding taste and flavor contrast. They're compulsively eatable: in fact, they go down so easily you'll be ready for a sequel in no time.

Note: The phyllo cups can be made a day ahead and stored in airtight containers; the custard will need several hours to set.

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Inglourious Custards

About the author: Jessie Oleson is a Seattle-based writer, illustrator, and cake anthropologist who runs Cakespy, an award-winning dessert website.

Cakespy: Inglourious Custards

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About This Recipe

Yield:12 individual servings
Special equipment:an instant-read thermometer, pastry brush, fine-mesh sieve
This recipe appears in: Planning Your Oscar Party Menu 82nd Academy Award Nominee–Food Mashups

Ingredients

  • For the phyllo cups:
  • Nonstick vegetable oil spray
  • 6 sheets fresh phyllo or frozen, thawed (more layers can be added if you prefer thicker cups)
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  •  
  • For the custard:
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 8 large egg yolks
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Procedures

  1. 1

    Prepare the phyllo cups. Preheat oven to 375°F. Lightly spray a muffin tin with vegetable oil spray.

  2. 2

    Stack six phyllo sheets into six 4-inch squares, forming total of 36 squares.

  3. 3

    Press one pyllo square into each cup (keep the remaining phyllo covered in plastic wrap and a damp towel).

  4. 4

    Using a pastry brush, dab each sheet with a little melted butter.

  5. 5

    Press another phyllo square on top of the first phyllo square, with corners at different angles. Sprinkle with sugar. Add another layer with the remaining squares. If you want thicker cups, you can feel free to add another round of squares on top of these--it's up to you.

  6. 6

    Bake until the edges are golden brown, about 6 minutes. Transfer pan to rack and cool cups from muffin tin. If you've made them ahead, store in an airtight container; otherwise cover loosely and let them sit at room temperature until your custard has set.

  7. 7

    Prepare the custard. Heat milk in a heavy saucepan over moderate heat until hot but not boiling.

  8. 8

    While milk heats, whisk together the egg yolks, sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a heatproof bowl until it is smooth.

  9. 9

    Temper your mixture so that you don't end up with scrambled eggs: add 1 cup hot milk to yolk mixture in a stream, whisking constantly, and then quickly add the remaining milk, continuing to whisk constantly.

  10. 10

    Transfer mixture to saucepan and cook over moderately low heat, stirring constantly, until thickened and registers 170°F on your thermometer, 6 to 10 minutes--do not let it boil.

  11. 11

    Immediately force custard through a fine-mesh sieve into a clean bowl and stir in butter and vanilla. Chill custard, its surface covered with wax paper, until cold and thickened, at least 3 hours.

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