Earlier this month, I was able to fulfill a major item on my bucket list: finding truffles! Many of you already know what a rabid forager I am, but I’ve never had the experience of finding the illusive truffle. Although, with full disclosure, I did find one in Oregon in early March…I’ll tell you that story another time.
But, this month, our truffle hunt was so successful that I went into a flurry of “what can I do with this bounty?” The first night, I decadently just shaved an entire (small) truffle onto our perfectly cooked scrambled eggs. Then, I started infusing things. Again, how this all came to be is going to be another story, so when that’s written, I’ll share that link.
Anyhow, one of the fun experiments I made was this custard. It started with the idea I was given on infusing uncooked eggs in their shells with the scent of truffles. It’s really simple. Just take your eggs, place them in an airtight container with a truffle in it, let them sit in the refrigerator for a few days and voila! Infused eggs.
Then, the trick is what to do with them. Truffles do not respond to heating very well — you pretty much lose the flavor if you subject them to a too-high heat. But a custard, which cooks in a ramekin placed in a water bath (bain marie in French), doesn’t really get so hot that you lose the truffle flavor. So, I made a classic custard, using those decadently-infused eggs, some fresh spinach and roasted garlic.
And, how did it turn out? Freaking heavenly! Just to take these little guys over the top, I shaved some more truffle on top and drizzled with a little fruity extra virgin olive oil. Yum, yum…and more yum!
In the photos, you’ll see I used two different shapes of ramekins. Here’s a link to some really good, but reasonably priced ones that will provide a nice shape when you unmold them. If you want to get a little fancier with some interesting shapes, I like these from M. Gastro Kitchens or you can use tall cylinders as well.
Spinach and Roasted Garlic Custards with Truffles
- small ramekins or custard dishes
- 2 cups heavy whipping cream
- 2 cups firmly packed baby spinach leaves
- 1 tsp Kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 4 lg truffle infused eggs (see note)
- 1 Tbsp roasted garlic, finely mashed (see note)
- 2 cups hot water
- extra virgin olive oil (for garnish)
- shaved fresh black truffle (see note)
- Preheat the oven to 325°. Butter or spray six 3/4-cup ramekins and place in a 13"x9" baking pan or glass casserole dish.
- Fill a large bowl with ice and water. Bring cream to a simmer in a medium saucepan. Remove the cream from heat, then add spinach, salt and pepper, stirring until spinach wilts (about 1-2 minutes). Place saucepan in the ice water bath, stirring to rapidly cool mixture.
- When spinach/cream mixture is cool, pour it into blender. Add truffle-infused eggs and roasted garlic. Blend until spinach is pureed and custard is smooth.
- Divide custard among prepared ramekins. Pour enough hot water into baking dish to come up 1/2 way up sides of ramekins.
- Bake custards until gently set in center, rotating pan after 30 minutes. Bake time is about 55 minutes total.
- When set, remove custards from the oven, letting then rest for 5 minutes before trying to unmold. Run a knife around edges of ramekins to loosen, then turn onto plates. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and garnish with shaved black truffle before serving.