Serious Eats: Recipes

The Secret Ingredient (Vanilla): Vanilla Cream Pots

[Photographs: Kerry Saretsky]

I hope this month's series on vanilla has given you some ideas about how to use it in different ways. This recipe is my attempt to recreate my favorite dessert in Paris: the vanilla pot de crème at my favorite restaurant in the Carrefour Odéon. When I lived down the street, I would order this several times a week. Pot de crème is most similar to our pudding, but really, they're nothing alike.

Pot de crème is extremely thick; you have to tug it off the spoon with your lips. Dense and almost cloying, it is redolent of its flavor—whether that's the Bourbon vanilla at my favorite place, or chocolate, or caramel, or anything else. There is no other flavor here besides vanilla, and the vanilla is use-the-bean-and-the-extract intense. It proves that vanilla can be special, even a bit glamorous.

About the author: Kerry Saretsky is the creator of French Revolution Food, where she reinvents her family's classic French recipes in a fresh, chic, modern way. She also writes the French in a Flash series for Serious Eats.

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