Fast and fuelling has been the name of the game lately, and these dairy-free maple cream custard cups have been filling that need for me. I made my first batch of these during my pre-natal meal prep frenzy as an easy make ahead, single serve snack that could be easily frozen and quickly thawed for those early days with the new baby.
I am no longer in the early days with my baby, but time is never on my side it seems between balancing work and home life. These custard cups remain a staple. I love that they are rich in the most important fats -- the ones that keep our brain functioning and our nervous system nourished.
With this recipe I do a rare thing, which is to separate the egg white from the yolk. I set aside the egg whites and use them in pancakes, breads or muffins, measuring a quarter cup of egg white for every egg needed in a recipe.
Custard Recipe Basics: It's All In The Yolk
Let's start by establishing that egg yolks are nothing to fear. Dietary cholesterol does not cause heart disease. This we know for sure. For one thing, dietary cholesterol makes up only 15% of the cholesterol in our body, and the rest is produced by every cell. So most often when cholesterol levels are high, we need to explore why. Most often, cholesterol levels go up as a protective mechanism in the body - whether it be due to toxicity, free radical damage, dehydration, stress or any number of other reasons. Secondly, cholesterol is the parent hormone to all other hormones and we need this for optimal brain function, adrenal function, thyroid function, stress response, reproduction and postpartum, finding our hormonal equilibrium.
This is important: high cholesterol can be an indicator of other issues in the body that can increase the risk of heart disease, but cholesterol itself is not the cause. It's a symptom.
Moving right along, let's talk about egg yolks. Egg yolks contain vitamins A, D, E and K and omega-3 fats. The yolks are also rich in folate and vitamin B12. And let's keep tooting the yolk horn as they contain choline, a super fuel for the brain and the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin - both vital for vision.
For this recipe, we're combining those egg yolks with full fat coconut milk, along with warming, grounding spices making this custard the ultimate in comfort food, in every sense of the phrase.
- 4 large egg yolks
- 2 cups full fat coconut milk
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- pinch of ground nutmeg
- 2 tsp gelatin
- 6 125ml glass mason jars or ramekins
- In a small bowl, whisk together four egg yolks and set aside.
- In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine coconut milk, maple syrup, vanilla, and nutmeg.
- Bring to a low simmer, for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add ½ cup of the coconut milk mixture to the egg yolks and whisk briskly until well combined (about two minutes).
- Pour the egg yolk and coconut milk mixture into the pan and whisk until combined. Continue to whisk until mixture starts to thicken and coats your spoon (about 5 minutes).
- Transfer warm mixture to your high speed blender or food processor and mix in the gelatin.
- Pour mix into your mason jars or ramekins and transfer to the fridge to chill for at least four hours before serving.
These custard cups freeze really well. Just add the lids to your jars and once set in the fridge, transfer to your freezer. Remove from freezer about 30 minutes before you wish to enjoy.
Note: The recipe as written above is the one that I created and tested. Variations using agar, chia etc. have not been tested and therefore, I do not know if or how it will work. If you want to give your own modifications a try, let us know how it works out in the comments below.