This post is sponsored by Nature Nate’s. Thanks for supporting our partners!
My house is full of old chairs and antique cabinets, many of which I picked up working at an antique store during and just after college. It’s all simple furniture, a bit rickety, and covered in all the dings and scratches and stains that convey generations of lives well lived.
At first glance, my job selling Qing-era apothecary cabinets and my job writing about and photographing the food I make seem miles apart, but they have something important in common – character. Just as I love furniture with a story to tell – repaired joints, worn drawers, or the luminous patina of old lacquer – I like food that tells a story too. My favorite foods capture a place or a moment or the story of how they came to be.
Nature Nate’s 100% Pure, Raw & Unfiltered Honey has just such a story to tell. Nature Nate’s is made in the US and has a wonderfully bright, faintly floral palate. If ever there were a way to get summer in a bottle, Nature Nate’s is it.
After some thought, I decided that the best way to showcase the subtle complexity of the honey was with a simple, perfectly of-the-moment dessert made with local eggs, farmer’s market strawberries, and tarragon from my yard. Honeyed pots de crème are different from their cane sugar counterparts – they’re supple, airy, and delicate. The custard cream is infused with vanilla bean and freshly ground cardamom, and the strawberries are drizzled with honey and minced tarragon. It makes for a layered dessert, equal parts rich and fragrant, understated and fleeting.
Custards are delicate and should not be overcooked. Look for the edges to set up and the center to jiggle a bit, but without tiny ripples. As you near the end of cook time, check often – a knife inserted should come out clean, without any custard clinging to it.
- For the Pots de Crème
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 5-inch vanilla bean, split lengthwise
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 4 egg yolks
- 1/4 cup Nature Nate's Raw & Unfiltered Honey
- pinch sea salt
- For the Strawberry Topping
- 1 pint strawberries, hulled and sliced
- 2 tablespoons Nature Nate's Raw & Unfiltered Honey
- 2 tablespoons minced tarragon leaves plus more for garnish
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Set out a 2-inch deep baking pan and fill with 1-inch water.
- In a heavy bottomed saucepan, stirring frequently, heat milk and cream over medium high heat until mixture is steamy and small bubbles form along the edges, about 7 minutes. Remove from heat, scrape vanilla beans into mixture, and add the pods, cardamom, and sea salt. Cover; steep 10 minutes.
- Whisk to combine egg yolks and honey in a large mixing bowl.
- Strain warm cream mixture through a fine mesh sieve and discard vanilla bean pods. Whisking constantly, drizzle strained cream into yolk and honey mixture until base is well combined.
- Ladle into 6 ounce ramekins or oven-proof jars. Place ramekins in prepared baking pan, and slide into oven. Bake until edges of custard are just set and a knife inserted in center comes out clean, 60 - 70 minutes. Carefully remove from water bath and set out to cool. Once cool, custard can be covered and chilled in the fridge or served at room temperature.
- For the strawberry topping, fold together strawberries, honey, and tarragon. Let sit 10 minutes, then spoon onto custards along with any accumulated juices. Garnish with tarragon leaves and serve.
- Pots de crème can be kept in the fridge for a day or two. Add strawberries just before serving.
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Nature Nate’s. As always, all opinions expressed here are my own. Thanks for supporting the partners that make our work possible!