Ginger fan? You’ll love this pot de creme, plus tips for working with fresh ginger


If you love the spicy/sweet flavor of fresh ginger, you have to try this pot de creme recipe from former Getty pastry chef Merilee Atkinson. Bright, peppery and aromatic notes from the ginger counter nicely with the rich and creamy custard. The recipe makes eight servings, perfect for when you’re planning for guests and want to make dessert ahead of time.

If you’re new to working with fresh ginger, or only use the root infrequently, it’s incredibly easy to peel: simply use a spoon. A spoon will help remove the delicate, papery skin while leaving the root intact, and it’s great for reaching into all of those nooks and crannies.


Additionally, consider using a ginger grater when you need to break down the root to use in a recipe. Ginger is incredibly fibrous, and using a rasp or cheese grater often won’t help to remove the hair-like fibers from the root. A ginger grater, which is inexpensive and easily found in Asian markets, will make quick, clean work of grating the root. The “teeth” on the grater work to crush the root as it’s grated, releasing juice and tons of flavor, all while keeping the fibrous bits attached to the root.


Total time: 2 1/2 hours plus 2 hours 45 minutes cooling | Serves 8

Note: This recipe originally ran in 2001. Adapted from a recipe by Merilee Atkinson, former pastry chef of Bon Appetit at the Getty Center.

3 cups whipping cream
1 cup milk
3/4 cup coarsely grated ginger root
6 large egg yolks
2 eggs
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Place the cream, milk and ginger in a large heavy saucepan over medium heat and heat until bubbling, 4 to 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to sit, covered, for 30 minutes to infuse the flavor from the ginger.

2. After the cream mixture has steeped, whisk the egg yolks and eggs in a large mixing bowl slightly to mix. Add the sugar and stir thoroughly until the mixture is uniform and there are no dry lumps of sugar. Don’t whip air into this mixture. Stir in the vanilla extract.

3. Heat the cream mixture to scalding again. Remove from the heat and temper it into the egg mixture by adding it gradually and stirring each addition in thoroughly to avoid scrambling the eggs. Strain the finished liquid through a very fine strainer or cheesecloth to remove the ginger and any bits of cooked egg which will mar the texture of the finished custard.


4. Heat the oven to 300 degrees. Divide the mixture into 8 (6-ounce) ramekins. Set the cups into a roasting pan about 3 to 4 inches deep. Add boiling water to the pan to immerse the cups halfway. Cover the pan with foil and poke a few holes in the foil with the tip of a knife. Place the pan in the oven and bake until the outside two-thirds of the custard is set and the center of each jiggles slightly when the cup is tapped, 1 hour and 30 minutes to 1 hour and 45 minutes. Remove the cups from the water bath and allow to cool at room temperature for about 45 minutes. Refrigerate, covered with plastic wrap, until completely chilled before serving, about 2 hours.

Each serving: 493 calories; 71 mg sodium; 338 mg cholesterol; 39 grams fat; 23 grams saturated fat; 31 grams carbohydrates; 7 grams protein; 0.18 gram fiber.

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