Vanilla Bean Paste Pots de Creme

We served these elegant little desserts at the 2014 Des Moines Metro Opera Wine and Food Extravaganza.


1 Cup Half and Half
1 Cup heavy whipping cream
1 Tbsp Vanilla Bean Paste
3 Tbsp sugar
1/8 tsp Kosher Salt
6 Egg Yolks, Whisked

Dark Chocolate Balsamic Vinegar or Strawberry Balsamic Vinegar


Place the whisked egg yolks in a medium, heat proof bowl. Set aside.

Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, over medium-low heat, combine the half and half, cream, vanilla paste, sugar, and salt. Heat mixture, stirring often, until the pan almost comes to a simmer – don’t allow the cream-and-sugar mixture to boil. Remove the pan from the stove.

Slowly add a little of the hot cream mixture to the egg yolks, whisking constantly as you do. Add a little more of the hot cream mixtue to the egg yolk bowl, whisk to thoroughly incorporate — then pour the entire egg mixture into the cream mixture remaining in the pot.

Return saucepan to the stove over low heat, and whisk constantly until it begins to thicken. This can take anywhere from 5 to 10 min. Once the custard has thickened a little, remove pan from the heat.

Pour batter into individual ramekins or into your preferred serving-size bowls. Allow to chill in the refrigerator until custard is solid, at least 2 or 3 hours.

Hull and cut strawberries into quarters and drizzle with balsamic. Allow balsamic to soak into the fruit for at least a few minutes, then use the prepared fruit sauce to top your pots de creme just before serving.