The pairing of spicy ginger and sweet creamy custard is a marriage made in heaven. Top that with some rum and honey-poached dried cherries and the honeymoon may last indefinitely. Read on for this surprisingly simple recipe for Ginger Custard with Poached Cherries.
For centuries both ginger and cherries have been used as aphrodisiacs. Whether their efficacy in that mission is fact or fiction has yet to be proven conclusively by science, but it is known that ginger and cherries are loaded with health-giving properties. Ginger has been shown to improve circulation, among other things, while cherries are filled with antioxidants, melatonin, and important vitamins and minerals.
This recipe is really quite simple, but does require time for chilling, so plan accordingly.
Poached Dried Cherries
1 cup dried cherries
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon rum
Candied ginger for garnish (optional)
1. Cover the cherries with 2 cups of hot water and let soak for 15 minutes. Drain and reserve ¾ cup of the soaking water.
2. Combine the reserved soaking water, honey, rum and cherries in a saucepan and bring to a boil.
3. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes, or until the liquid is thickened and the cherries are tender. Allow to cool.
1/2 cup Sucanat (or the natural sweetener of your choice)
1/4 cup fresh ginger, finely chopped
1/4 cup water
1¾ cups whole organic milk
2 whole eggs
2 egg yolks
Pinch of salt
1. Preheat oven to 325°F with rack in middle level.
2. Boil Sucanat, ginger and water in a heavy saucepan, and stir until Sucanat is dissolved. Add milk, return just to a boil and remove from heat. Cover and let stand for 15 minutes.
3. Stir whole eggs, yolks, and salt in a bowl. Gently whisk in hot mixture and then strain to remove solids. Divide mix into six custard bowls, ramekins, or pretty teacups, and cover each one securely with foil.
4. Place custards in a large rectangular baking dish and place in oven. Fill the baking dish with hot water to reach halfway up the custard bowls.
5. Bake in the water bath for about 40 minutes, or until edges are firm but center still wobbles.
6. Remove carefully and place custards on a rack, and remove foil to cool to room temperature, about 40 minutes. Place custards in refrigerator and chill for 2 hours. Top with poached cherries and a scattering of chopped candied ginger.
By Melissa Breyer, Senior Producer, Care2 Green Living