Wednesday, September 22, 2010

(43-57) Light and Simple

Tonight I felt the need to write about something light and simple; and custard immediately came to mind.  The truth is, I've actually been thinking about writing about custard for a while; under the "Best Thing I Ever Ate" category; but Queen of INDECISION that I am; I couldn't choose which custard like dessert I thought was best; and so I've held off.  But now, under the heading of light and simple; I can write about as many custard desserts as I choose and not have to commit to declaring which one I think is best. YUM!

I thought about calling this post "Custard, Custard, Custard;" because it's so nice, you have to say it thrice (punny, I know;) but also because there are SO many desserts that I am  putting under this umbrella.  When I say custard; I am using that word in the broadest of terms.  I am classifying everything from the filling of a Dunkin Donuts, Boston Kreme Donut, to Entenmann's Coconut Custard Pie, to Marie Callender's Coconut Cream Pie to the filling of a Napolean, (and any other Italian pastry.)  From  Tiramisu (which unbelievably, I almost forgot about until I was Googling pictures for this post;) the ice cream kind of custard, flan (of course,) Creme Brulee and a Cannoli.    Whew, my mouth is watering just thinking about the deliciousness of it all. 

Who would have thunk that I would  actually be able to type an entire blog on custard alone?  And yet, the information is endless.  I wanted to make sure that I was spelling Entenmann's correctly and that I was calling the amazing dessert that I remembered from childhood by the right name, so I Googled Entenmanns etc. and found people clammoring for the coconut custard pie.  There were more posts than I ever would have imagined ABOUT THIS PIE; so clearly I'm not the only one who recalled it fondly.  Entenmann's custard pie varies greatly from Marie Callendar's Coconut Cream Pie as Marie's is more of a thick, luscious pudding and Entenmann's is more of an egg custard (kind of like a sweet quiche;) and so now that I've gone ahead and mentioned it; I suppose that I have to add quiche to my litany of custard cravings.

The diversity of the things that I am clumping into the custard family are ceaseless. The custard in the Dunkin Donuts, Boston kreme donut is more of a thin, runny custard; but in a pinch for a custard fix and sandwiched between the pillowy donut with chocolate frosting; it will do the trick; whereas the custard filling of a Napoleon is thicker, allowing it to cling to the multiple layers of millefoglie, or mille-feuille, most likely a descendant of phyllo.   I've seen Napoleons that have a creamy filling; while others are definitely what I'd call custard; so naturally the "custard" filled are my preference.  In addition to the Napoleon, a good Italian bakery will also offer a myriad of pastries with a similar custard filling; and I'd be hard pressed to decline any of them; accept maybe an eclair.  I'd gladly eat the filling, but I don't care for the dry pastry itself.
The fact that I almost left Tiramisu off of this list is shocking to me because this typically is my dessert of choice.  Tiramisu combines so many of my favorite things; cake, coffee flavoring and custard.   OK, I know that the filling isn't really a custard, it's more of a cream; but it's all the same in my book, smoothe, and sweet and velvety.  Along with Tiramisu my other top dessert picks are Creme Brulee and Cannoli.  I only had Creme Brulee for the first time about 3 years ago, and I was immediately taken under it's spell.  If it was custard alone; I'd still be interested, but the fact that it has this sweet, syrupy coating along with crystallized sugar; what more can I say; HEAVEN!  Now the Cannoli is a conundrum to me, because one of my all time, I will not eat it foods,
is Ricotta cheese and yet, the scrumptiousness that is a Cannoli, is made from none other than Ricotta.  Go figure...  I absolutely adore the contrast of the crunchy shell with the "custard" cream; the chocolate chips and the powdered sugar; all blended together to make a delectable, dessert (or breakfast.)
While on the topic of the Cannoli, I would be remiss if I did not mention its counterpart; the Cannoli Cake.  Now I ask you, what could be better than this... Several layers of cake with cannoli cream in between the layers - Amen!!  As many of you know; Luis and I got married at Disneyworld; and in the years since that wonderful day, I've asked myself; "why didn't we have some type of cake with a custardy filling;" and then I remember that it was because it was Florida, in July and it was outdoors.  So instead we opted for German Chocolate cake; although I'm not really sure why.  I think that I thought that Luis would like it since it had coconut, and I am a Peacan fan; so it all seemed good; and it was.  But 2 weeks after we got back from our honeymoon, we held a brunch at a Mexican restaurant for all the friends that were unable to make it to the wedding; and there we served the BEST  Cannoli cake ever.

I actually found an Italian style bakery just a few minutes away from my home; and since they sell a Cannoli cake I purchased it for Luis' birthday one year.  Now I don't know about you, but I don't like to drink my cake; so the ridiculous amount of rum flavor that they put in the cake, absolutely killed it.  So I guess I'll have to hold out for this tremendous treat, until I go back to New York.

With my vivid dessert descriptions, I'm sure it comes as no surprise that I  have quite a bit of weight to lose;.  But seriously, I don't eat these things very often at all; AND, I have had 43 years to gather impressions and form opinions which is why I've been able to share the wonderful world of custard with you.
Till next time...


Julie Tucker-Wolek said...

Ohhhhhhhh YUM! :):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):)

Joni Parker said...

I'm a Creme Brulee girl myself!! I should've waited until after lunch to read this post!!!