Announcing the winner of our February Cooking Contest!
This last contest, in which I asked you to share a recipe for someone you adore, drew the Farmgirl’s biggest response ever. There were cupcakes, bread puddings, tarts, chocolate French toast, a very memorable asparagus pesto, dumplings, and even a three-course dinner.
I loved hearing your stories and getting to taste your delicious cooking. Thank you to every one of you who entered the contest. It was a very close call!
In the end, I chose Hidemi Walsh’s Apple Custard Gratin because of its warm, comforting flavors; simplicity (it took me 10 minutes to prep and 10 minutes in the oven); and originality. It didn’t hurt that my kids gobbled up three batches in two days, including some for breakfast!
I tried using Earth Balance, almond milk and maple syrup (which I prefer to sugar for its layered sweetness as well as nutritional benefits) and found the custard tasted just as satisfying, even a bit creamier. It’s a year-round recipe that Hidemi recommends for dessert, brunch, or to nurse someone back to health. Make the custards ahead (even the night before) and bake them off justbefore serving.
Originally from Japan, Hidemi currently lives in Plainfield, Indiana. She is the winner of a gorgeous ceramic wok from the eco-conscious Italian company, Mepra. Congratulations!
Makes 2 (1-cup) servings or 3 (½-cup) servings
1 tablespoon organic unsalted butter (or Earth Balance), plus additional for greasing
2 tablespoons maple syrup
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon, optional
1 large Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored and sliced thinly (about ¼-inch thick)
1 large egg, beaten
2/3 cup milk of your choice
2 tablespoons white whole wheat flour
1 tablespoon raisins
1 tablespoon sliced almonds
1. Prepare individual ramekins: butter the sides and bottoms and set aside. Preheat a toaster oven or conventional oven to 350˚F.
2. In a small bowl or measuring cup, whisk together the egg and milk.
3. In a skillet, melt the remaining tablespoon of butter, then add the maple syrup, cinnamon (if using) and apples. Cook over medium-low heat until the apples are tender. Add the flour and stir to coat well. Add the milk and egg mixture gradually, stirring constantly. Simmer until thickened, about 3 minutes.
4. Pour the custard mixture into the prepared ramekins. Sprinkle sliced almonds and raisins on top. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until set. Serve warm or cold.
Stay tuned for our March Giveaway!