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This is a sublime dessert! Since ginger aids in digestion, it's the perfect end to any meal. I served this at Thanksgiving one year, with rave reviews. Of course, I also made a pumpkin pie, but two desserts is always acceptable for a big feast.
8 individual servings
Combine cream, milk, peeled gingerroot, and ginger juice in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, take off heat and cover. Let stand for 20 minutes to infuse flavor.
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
Remove the ginger pieces from the cream and milk. Whisk egg yolks and 1 cup sugar in a bowl to blend. Gradually whisk in the warm cream. Be careful that the cream isn't hot enough to cook the eggs, or you'll get pieces of scrambled egg in your custard. Divide the custard into 8 single serving ramekins. Sprinkle the ginger nibs into each serving dish. Place the ramekins in a large roasting pan. Pour enough hot water into the pan to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins, being careful not to splash any water into the custard cups. Carefully transfer the custards to the oven, and bake until just set in the center, about 45 minutes. Remove custards from oven and take out of the water bath to cool. Chill, uncovered, until cold. They can be made up to this point and chilled overnight, covered.
To carmelize the top a blow torch is useful, but you can also use a broiler. Sprinkle each custard with 1 teaspoon sugar. Torch each custard, or place them on a baking sheet and broil until sugar melts and browns, turning the sheet for even browning, about 1 minute. Place the custards back in the refrigerator until the topping is cold and brittle, about 1 hour. Garnish with berries, mint and ginger nibs as wished.
Use a garlic press to juice the ginger. It squeezes the ginger juice without the addition of stringy ginger pieces. Make sure the garlic press is very clean. You don't want to add any garlic flavor to this dessert.
Save the egg whites for a meringue. Another good use, as pointed out by a friend at Thanksgiving, is Pavlovas. Pavlovas consist of a meringue shell filled with whipped cream and fresh fruit, such as kiwi, passion fruit, and pineapple. Apparently it's the national dessert of both Australia and New Zealand.
This recipe was provided by Jennifer Statz from Chicago.