Maple-Apple Sponge Custards
1-1/2 cups chopped peeled crisp apple, such as Granny Smith 1/4 to 1/3 cup sugar, as desired, depending on tartness of apples 3 tbsp. all-purpose flour 3 EGG YOLKS 3/4 cup milk 1/4 cup maple syrup 2 tbsp. butter, melted 1/4 tsp. vanilla 3 EGG WHITES, room temperature 1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
Yields: 6 servings
- Nutritional Information
Total Fat: 7 g
Saturated fat: 4 g
Polyunsaturated fat: 1 g
Monounsaturated fat: 2 g
Cholesterol: 105 mg
Sodium: 48 mg
Carbohydrates: 29 g
Dietary Fiber: 1 g
Protein: 5 g
Vitamin A: 319.2 IU
Vitamin D: 36.3 IU
Folate: 21.9 mcg
Calcium: 62.2 mg
Iron: 0.6 mg
Choline: 66.5 mg
HEAT oven to 350°F. DIVIDE apples evenly among six 6-oz. greased custard cups, reserving a few pieces for garnish, if desired. PLACE cups in 13 x 9 x 2-inch baking pan.
MIX sugar and flour in medium bowl. STIR IN egg yolks, milk, syrup, butter and vanilla until blended.
BEAT egg whites with cream of tartar in mixer bowl with whisk attachment on high speed just until whites are stiff but not dry, and no longer slip when bowl is tilted. Gently but thoroughly FOLD yolk mixture into whites until color is uniform. POUR over apples, dividing evenly, about 2/3 cup each.
PLACE pan on a rack in the center of a 350°F oven; pour very hot water into pan to within 1/2 inch of top of cups. BAKE until wooden pick inserted near center comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes. REMOVE cups from water bath at once; COOL on wire rack at least 10 minutes.
Serve these simple melt-in-your mouth custards warm or refrigerate until cold. Garnish with apple, whipped cream and fresh mint.
Recipes can be varied by substituting another fresh, canned or dried fruit for the apple and flavoring the custard as you like. Choose a fruit that doesn’t have a lot of moisture, such as blueberries; drained canned fruit very well.
Sponge custards: Unlike basic baked custard, for sponge custards, egg whites are beaten separately and folded into the batter. During baking, the batter separates, to form a creamy custard on the bottom with a sponge-cake-like top.
Don’t skip the hot-water. A hot water bath, or bain-marie, insulates the custard from the direct heat of the oven and promotes even cooking so the edges don’t overcook before the center is done. Very hot tap water will do.
Keep the yolks separate from the whites. Fat from egg yolk will prevent egg whites from beating up properly. When separating eggs, take care that no yolk gets in the whites. To avoid an accident, separate each egg white into a cup or small bowl before transferring it to the mixer bowl. Discard any white that has even a speck of yolk in it.
Equipment: Beaters and bowl should be spotlessly clean. Any residue of fat will prevent egg whites from beating up properly. Use a stainless steel or glass bowl. Plastic bowls can retain a film of grease.
Egg temperature: It’s easiest to separate eggs cleanly when they are refrigerator cold. However egg whites whip up to greater volume when they’ve had a chance to warm up a bit, 20 to 30 minutes. Always begin by separating the eggs. Let the whites stand at room temperature while you prepare the other ingredients.
Beat egg whites just until they are stiff but not dry and no longer slip when the bowl is tilted. When underbeaten, whites will not achieve full volume. Overbeaten whites form clumps of dry puffs which don’t hold air well, are difficult to incorporate when folding and do not expand properly when baked.
Gentle folding is the key to maintaining volume. Combining heavier mixtures with beaten egg whites can knock the air out of them. To prevent this, begin by pouring the egg yolk mixture over the beaten whites, not vice versa. Then gradually and gently combine the mixtures by folding, rather than stirring. Using a rubber spatula, start with a downward stroke into the bowl, continue across the bottom, up the side and over the top of the mixture. Come up through the center every few strokes and rotate the bowl often as you fold. Fold just until the color of the mixture is uniform, with no streaks of white remaining.