Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Maple Pumpkin Pots de Creme (Page 832)

  • Date: Saturday, November 10, 2007 -- 10pm
  • Location: Somerville, MA
  • Kitchen: Matty's Apartment
  • Dining Companions: Matty, Russ, and Paps
  • Recipe Rating: B

I made these pots de creme for dessert on Saturday because I was looking for something quick and easy. It's hard to grade these, as something deeply mysterious happened while these were cooking. To make a pot de creme, one makes a custard, then pours it in small dishes and bakes them in a water bath. What you should end up with is silky smooth. These pots de creme, however, took on a life of their own. For one thing, they rose tremendously. Usually such things barely rise. But when I took these out of the oven they had doubled in size. This immediately concerned me. They eventually fell, but the damage had been done -- the texture was terrible. It was almost curdled -- very, very far from the smooth, silky custard I had expected. One reason that custard curdles is if it is overcooked. I can only assume that is what happened here, although the oven was set to the proper temperature and I cooked them for 5 minutes less than was indicated in the recipe. So it's a bit of a mystery. While the texture was pretty dreadful, the flavor was nice. The pumpkin and maple complemented each other nicely. It was a touch too sweet, but that didn't bother me too much. This recipe had the potential to be good, but if you make it, watch them carefully and take them out as soon as they are set!

Here is the recipe.

This morning I paid the consequences of my five years of dentist-free lifestyle: I had my cavities filled. It was uneventful. The only unpleasant part of it was the numbness. Yes, of course, being numb is vastly preferable to the alternative, but I really hate that numb feeling. Even now, back at work, I can't feel half of my mouth. I'm hungry, but worried that if I try to eat lunch like this it will be a disaster!

When I was young, I had some sort of oral surgery, after which I was numb for a long time. I was also given some type of sedative for the procedure. When I left the oral surgeon's office he told me that as I was coming out of sedation I might feel a little moody. I went home, and spent the afternoon sitting on an easy chair in the basement, watching TV with my mom. My frustration about the numbness was apparently magnified by the "moody" sedative. At some point I was so upset that there was nothing good to watch on TV that I threw the channel changer through the insulation wall. Whoops! Today I am feeling calmer about being numb, although still not really terribly excited about it!

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