ALICE B. TOKLAS’ CREAM PERFECT LOVE (for six)
1 cup milk
4 whole cloves
4 egg yolks
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon unflavored gelatin
vegetable oil or nonstick cooking spray
1-½ cups heavy cream
grated zest of 1 lemon
Black fruit compote for serving
1. Heat the milk and the cloves in a saucepan over low heat until hot.
2. Combine the egg yolks and sugar in a bowl and beat until lemon colored. Slowly beat in the warm milk and cloves, and place in the top if a double boiler over simmering water. Stir with a wooden spoon until the custard is hot and coats the back of a spoon, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat, strain into a mixing bowl and let cool slightly.
3. Meanwhile, place the gelatin in a small dish and add ¼ cup cold water. Set aside to let it “sponge”, about 5 minutes. Stir the gelatin into the custard and continue to stir constantly until the gelatin is completely dissolved and the custard has cooled. (For rapid cooling, place the bowl of custard in a larger bowl of ice water.)
4. Lightly grease a 5 cup mold or bowl with oil or nonstick cooking spray. Place heavy cream in a deep bowl and whip until peaks are firm but not stiff. Fold in the lemon zest and then the whipped cream into the custard. Pour into the prepared mold and refrigerate until firm.
5. When ready to serve, pull the custard away from the sides of the mold with your thumb to break the suction. Invert onto a serving plate and remove the mold. Surround with fruit.
adapted from The Alice B. Toklas Cook Book by the New York Times Magazine, November 2, 2003
SERVE WITH: Viennese crescents