Yellow is here!
Since my first two color recipes were savory and entree type dishes I thought it was time for a dessert. T and I threw around a lot of ideas for yellow. Eventually we settled on a sort of creme brulee. This is a modification on a super easy and delicious creme brulee recipe that comes from The Joy Cooking.
The recipe uses saffron. It is always an experience buying saffron from the grocery store because the clerk rings up a tiny mostly empty bottle that costs a ton. They give you this look like you are crazy for having purchased an empty bottle for so much. Little do they know the joy of saffron. Saffron is the stamen of a crocus flower. To harvest it you need a small army of people who can work quickly. It must be done by hand and in one day or the harvest is ruined. There is currently no way to mechanize this process. This is why a few stamens in a mostly empty jar cost a ton of money. Saffron imparts a very subtle but distinct taste and smell to foods along with an amazing yellow color. It is that flavor on the back of your tongue that you just can’t place but know is amazing. There is really no substitute for saffron in taste. If you want the color you can go with turmeric but in this dessert it wouldn’t work taste wise.
Saffron Creme with Mango Habenero Sauce
2 cups heavy cream
3 eggs stirred
1/3 cup of sugar (don’t try to make this a paleo recipe and omit the sugar or substitute it, it won’t work)
1 pinch of saffron about 4-6 stamens
1 seeded habanero pepper (these bad boys are tiny but with a very potent punch so de-seed them.)
zest and juice of one lemon
2tbs of apple cider vinegar
Heat the cream with half of the saffron stirring frequently to prevent boiling over.
Mix eggs, sugar and remaining saffron in a separate bowl until just blended. You are not trying to whip the eggs. Just mix them.
Pour the simmering milk over the eggs very slowly while stirring. It might help to have a friend help you here. What you are doing is called tempering the eggs. You don’t want to make scrambled eggs so you pour very slowly and stir constantly. It brings the temperature of the eggs up with out cooking them.
Pour the creme mixture in ramekins sprayed with some cooking spray. A ramekin is a small oven safe dish. If you wish you can strain the mixture to remove any lumps. The only thing is if you strain it you’ll have to pick out the stamens and put them back in the creme.
Place ramekins in a bain marie, or a water bath. What this mean is you place the ramekins in a larger pan filled with water. Be careful not to get water in the creme or it won’t set. The water circulates around the ramekins to cook the creme evenly.
Cook at 250 for about 2 hours. The creme will be set but not totally firm when done.
Cover and refrigerate for 5 hours or overnight. (over night is better because it allows enough time to fully set)
While that sets, peel and seed two mangoes. Rough cut them into large pieces. De-seed and finely mince one habenero.
Heat a large pan to super hot. Throw the mangoes and peppers in when the pan is sufficiently hot. Do not add oil or fats to the pan. You want to sear the fruit to start some carmelization. Stir a few times to brown on all sides. This process will put a lot of the habenero oil in the air. (think pepper spray) It will make you miserable if your kitchen is not well ventilated. You can always become a kitchen ninja like I did.
Once browned add the vinegar to deglaze the pan. Scrape the bottom to get all the awesomeness off the pan.
Put the mango/pepper mix in a food processor, add the lemon zest and juice. Blend until smooth.
Refrigerate the sauce with the creme until ready to use. When you are ready to use it heat it through in a pan on med low heat.
When you are ready for dessert carefully flip over the creme on a plate. Spoon the sauce on top. We ate ours with some fry bread dusted with powdered sugar.