rose and almond pot de creme


It's been a very, very busy week for the city. First, we had the annual 100th anniversary of the Cherry Blossoms and the opening of The Hunger Games. Thankfully, I got a chance to walk around the basin and wade my way through the throngs of tourists to catch a glimpse of the flowers before the rain jumped in. A day or two of good rain will wash the flowers off the trees, so luck was definitely on my side this year. Its definitely one of those things that should be on your bucket list, if you haven't already done it. I took some photographs of the flowers in the city to share with you.

 

"The Hunger Games" movie was great and we got great seats even though we faced a long line. All in all a successful week. With spring, also comes the attack of the squirrels and there is one nasty little guy that has been busy digging up my terrace to store whole peanuts. I am still surprised that this squirrel has found a source of whole peanuts with their shells in the city. So far, its been a close call just some digging and no bulbs or plants destroyed. I need to stop by my local gardening store to figure out what I can do to make him find my garden less attractive for his activities. It was so much easier with the dog, I had a little wall raised around the periphery of the garden and then trained him but this squirrel is a bit independent.


I haven't made this Indian themed creme de pot in a while and with the rain carrying off into the weekend, it made the perfect excuse for some dessert. There are several desserts in Indian and Middle Eastern cooking that use rose flowers and rose water as ingredients. They are sweet and fragrant and come in so many different beautiful colors making it a popular addition to food. This custard is a great dessert for a spring and/or  summer table.


This custard has a thin thick consistency which is delicious by itself but can also be served over fresh fruits. I prefer golden raisins because they are sweet yet milder than dark raisins.Technically, this is not really a pot de creme since there are no eggs or any baking involved but the custard is reminiscent of the pot de creme, so hence I decided to name it this way. There are two big surprises in this pot de creme, the first is the delicious layer of cream will form on the top of the custard as it cools. The second surprise is the layer of raisins at the bottom. The almond milk will give the custard a light and refreshing taste and reduces the richness of the cream. You must take care to prevent burning the custard while boiling the milk and cream because it will give a burned taste to the custard. If it does get a little burned, it is better to avoid disturbing the burned layer and remove it from the custard as quick as possible. This recipe is based loosely on a recipe from "Classic Indian Cooking" by Julie Sahni.


rose and almond pot de creme 

yield: 4 servings

ingredients

1/4 cup golden raisins
2 cups fat-free milk
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup almond milk
6 tablespoons rice flour
2 tablespoons rose water
dried edible rose petals to garnish

1. Sprinkle the raisins into a serving dish or into individual serving bowls. In a thick bottomed pot, bring the milk and sugar to a boil on a medium flame. Immediately reduce the flame to a simmer, and add the cream and almond milk. 
2.Whisk in the rice flour and stir continuously till the custard begins to thicken a little. The consistency should be slightly thick but not too much. Remove the custard off the stove and pour it into the bowl. Allow to cool, stir in the rose water and chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 to 4 hours before serving. Before serving, garnish the top of the creme with the dried rose petals.