Monday, January 30, 2012

Real Food Weekly Recipe: Honey Cinnamon Custard

I love fresh cream.  Fresh, raw cream.  It tastes like heaven.  Many folks probably don't know that cream is a seasonal food.  Spring is calving season.  Grass is vibrantly lush and green and growing fast.  And real cream is flowing.  At this time, cream is deeply nourishing.  Cows allowed to graze on pasture produce a cream that is rich in flavour as it is in nutrients.  Fresh cream is one of spring's best foods and it is the perfect season to make butter!!  I made butter a couple of times last year - there was nothing more rewarding or satisfying then making butter - it bordered on divine.  My great-aunt Doris, (who was raised on raw milk from jersey cows) was right - everything is better with butter and cream (my emphasis).  

So, why would you eat cream? 
Because cream is dense in fat soluble vitamins (vitamins A, D, E and K).  It is also a good source of saturated fat, conjulated linoleic acid (CLA) and coenzyme Q10.  Fat soluble vitamins are fragile and delicate nutrients.  Heat, like that required for pasteurization, destroys these delicate, valuable nutrients.  After pasteurization, cream is no longer whole - it is missing these vital nutrients.  Fresh cream is a living food.  It contains beneficial bacteria and enzymes which are otherwise destroyed during pasteurization and it is precisely these components of living foods that make them so valuable to our health.  In traditional cultures studied by by Weston A. Price and discussed in his book Nutrition and Physical Degeneration, if dairy products like fresh cream and butter were consumed, they were consumed raw.  In essence, by consuming fresh cream you are adhering to the same dietary principles that nourished your ancestors. 

Right now where I get my milk there is one guernsey cow that is calving.  Could I be so lucky!!?? Last week my milk had a beautiful, thick, layer of cream on top.  So before I make kefir or yogurt, I delicately scrape off this layer and then decide what frugal things I can do with it so it won't go to waste.  Custard is a perfect way to use up this little bit of liquid gold.  I looked through a few recipe books, of course Julia Child's Mastering French Cooking was the first one I opened. But the ingredient list was as long as my arm.  Next one...same thing.  I guess I am trying out my own recipe.  And Ha!  It worked.  A nourishing not-too-sweet treat of basic earthly ingredients:  raw cream, honey and eggs.  Here it is for all to enjoy!

Honey Cinnamon Custard
yield: about 4 servings
time:  5 minutes active, 40 minutes oven

2 eggs
1 cup fresh raw cream*
2 tbsp raw honey
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
dash of unrefined sea salt

Preheat over to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
In a bowl, whisk eggs, cream, honey, cinnamon, vanilla and sea salt together.
Pour the mixture into individual ramekins and bake in a water bath for 35 to 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the centre of the custard comes out clean.  

*Don't do dairy?  Substitute coconut milk for cream

Everyone will gobble it up!

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