Green Kale Custard

Kale and other cooking greens are almost exclusively thought of for savory dishes, but this recipe shows the versatility of kale by using it in a surprisingly delicious sweet egg custard dessert. While we use our green kale in this recipe, we encourage you also to experiment and replace the kale with other cooking greens like Swiss chard.

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Preparation Time:  35 min (5 min to prepare ramekins, 10 min for green kale puree; 10 min for custard)

Cooking Time:  40 min (5 min for the green kale; 30 min for custard)

Yield:  Makes 44 oz (11 4 oz ramekins, or 5 8 oz and 1 4 oz ramekin)

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup green kale puree (see instructions in Preparation section below)
    • 1 cup of lightly pressed, blanched green kale leaves
      • You will need approximately 6 cups of lightly packed and roughly chopped fresh green kale leaves (about 1/2 bunch of green kale)
    • 1 cup half and half
  • 12 egg yolks
    • Use the leftover egg whites and any leftover kale to make a kale and egg white frittata!
    • We use eggs from our friends Tim and Chelsea Clarkson, owners of Grove Ladder Farm, in Sarasota, Florida specializing in pasture-raised, hormone and antibiotic free poultry and eggs.
  • 14 fl oz sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg

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Preparation:

  • Preheat the oven to 350F.
  • Butter the bottom and sides of the ramekins you choose to use, place in a long, rectangular, glass baking dish.
    • Note:  If you have only one long baking dish, don’t worry simply bake in batches.
  • Green kale puree
    • Prepare blanched green kale (see photo above).
      • Wash the green kale very well as it may be sandy, wash a second time, cut away the green leaf off the thick stem, discard the stem, rough chop the leaves into bite-size pieces, wash and drain; set aside.
      • Add 2 quarts of water to a medium to large soup or stock pot, add the salt, bring to a boil, add the chopped green kale, cook for 2 minutes, remove the kale and place into an ice water bath to stop the cooking, once cooled remove and, using your hands, squeeze really well to remove any excess moisture, chop finely; measure one cup; set aside.
    • Make green kale puree.
      • Add the one cup of lightly pressed blanched and chopped green kale, place in a high-speed blender.
      • Add 1 cup of half and half to the blender.
      • Process at high speed until pureed, pour into a 1 quart bowl, use a rubber spatula to get as much of the puree from the bottom and the sides out of the blender; set aside.
      • You should have just under 2 cups of green kale puree.
  • Prepare whipped cream topping or other topping/s of your choice (if desired).
    • Note:  The smallest amount of heavy whipping cream that may be purchased at most grocery or supermarkets is 1/2 pint (or 1 cup).  The recipe for the custard calls for only 1/2 cup so use the remaining 1/2 cup to make fresh whipped cream for the topping.

Cooking:

  • Place the egg yolks into a large stainless steel mixing bowl and whisk until well scrambled.
  • Add green kale puree and 1/2 cup heavy cream; mix well.
  • Add sweetened condensed milk; mix well (will begin to visibly thicken at this point).
  • Add cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg; mix well.
  • Pour equal amounts into the prepared (buttered) ramekins
    • You should have enough to fill 11 4 oz, or 5 8 oz and 1 4 oz ramekins.
  • Place the ramekins in the baking dish that is at least 2 to 3 inches tall.
  • Carefully pour hot water into the baking dish until the water level in the baking dish is at the same level as the custard in the ramekins.
  • Carefully place the baking dish in the oven on the middle rack; bake for 25 to 30 minutes.
    • At the 20 minute mark begin checking the internal temp of the custard using a probe thermometer.  Stick the thermometer into the center of the custard.
    • When the internal temp reaches 170F carefully remove the ramekins from the water bath, place on a wire rack to cool to room temp.
    • Note:  Do not let the temp of the custard reach 180F otherwise the custard will begin to curdle.
    • Note:  The custard along the sides will appear solid and the center will move just a little when shaken.
  • Once the ramekins have cooled cover each one with plastic wrap; place in the fridge for at least 2 hours to set.

Serving/Presentation:

  • After the custard has set and chilled in the fridge and when you’re ready to serve, remove the plastic wrap and serve in the ramekins…
    • or place each ramekin in a bowl of warm water to loosen the bottom and sides of the custard in the ramekin, carefully turn upside down onto the plate they will be served on.
  • Top with whipped cream, candied nuts, fresh fruit, or in keeping with the kale theme, unsalted kale chips that have been dusted with a little cinnamon sugar!

Enjoy!

 

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