Lemon Chamomile Pots De Creme & A Taste Of Yellow
Yesterday morning, I stood in the middle of the kitchen trying to find something, anything yellow that I could bake with. I thought I was finally ahead of the game for a change with recipes, writing, pictures, yet I had this nagging feeling that I was forgetting something. I was mumbling "yellow, yellow, something yellow" pacing the kitchen, opening the fridge, the pantry. Bill looked at me, banana in hand and exclaimed "That’s yellow!". Read this post and you will understand why I immediately protested: "Non pas encore des bananes. Y’en a marre des bananes!" (no, no more bananas. Enough with the bananas!) Lemons would be nice. Lemon Pots de Creme would even be nicer.
An hour later a baker friend stopped by with a small case of lemons. "Fell off the truck!" he said with a wink. I know it meant they had overstocked and they knew I’d find good use for them. "Oh yes! Yellow overstock! Please find a spot on my countertop" I thought while wringing my hands scheming. I did not have much time yesterday but I did not want to miss Barbara’s event LiveStrong With A Taste of Yellow for anything. Barbara gives so much of her friendship and wisdom to all of us. It’s all about giving back.
I could write paragraphs after paragraphs about people I know and love who are touched by cancer right now and people I have loved and lost to cancer but it would not do anybody any good. You know some, you love some. It hurts and it’s ugly and it is not what Barbara or the event is about. For the past three years, Barbara has gathered food bloggers around the world to create a yellow dish in support of the Lance Armstrong Foundation to raise cancer awareness.
Two years ago I went with an all mango dessert that was devoured by my husband two seconds after I had taken a picture and last year I made tropical verrines with peach macarons that were also devoured right after the pictures. This year I baked Lemon Chamomile Pots de Creme, and guess what happened? Well yes, 3 were gone before lunch! You can’t leave two lemon heads like us around these and expect us to behave, not that we would have tried anyway.
"Pots de creme" are exactly that: little cups of creamy custard. Heavy cream, egg yolks, sugar. The rest is up to your imagination. I remember when my friend M. was undergoing chemo, she would often ask for a cup of tea with a lemon slice and some chamomille buds in there. As a tribute to her kicking cancer away for now, I added a small handful of chamomile buds with the cream and let it steep before mixing the cream with the rest of the ingredients and a serious dose of lemons. The result was soothing, tongue nipping and down right refreshing.
Side note: a few people have emailed asking me how I keep my tablecloths so white even after putting crumbs or ice cream right on them. HA AH! Here is my little secret: I use wood. Large blocks of wood or 2x4s that I sand, stain and paint (sometimes dark) so all I have to do is take a sponge when I am done photographing. Unlike Martha Stewart, I don’t find doing laundry and ironing that much of fun time. I have enough with the napkins and placemats I use!
Lemon Chamomile Pots de Creme:
Makes 4 to 6 depending on the size of your ramekins.
1 1/2 cups (375ml) heavy cream
2 tablespoons edible chamomille buds (found mine at health food store with bulk herbs and spices)
6 large egg yolks
1/2 cup (100gr) sugar
zest and juice of 2-3 lemons (you’ll need 1/4 cup or 60ml of juice)
pinch of salt
Preheat oven to 325F and position a rack in the center. Place your ramekins in a heavy deep pan and set aside.
In a medium saucepan, bring the heavy cream and the chamomile to a simmer. Turn the heat off and let the chamomile steep in the cream while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
In a large bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and the sugar until pale yellow. Add the lemon juice and salt and whisk until smooth.
Strain the heavy cream and discard the chamomile. Slowly pour the heavy cream over the egg yolk mixture, whisking well. Let stand for a couple of minutes to let any foam rise to the top, skim it off and divide the mixture among your ramekins. Pour hot water inside the pan, making sure the water comes at least halfway up the sides of your dishes. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes.
Bron September 17, 2009 um 10:38 pm
Yummy yum yum! Who could not love pots de creme… and with lemon and chamommile!! You are a genius ..you know that right?!
The Bella Girls September 17, 2009 um 10:39 pm
I LOVE everything about this recipe. It looks scrumptious! I also love the spoon and what you served them in. So cute!
Maria September 17, 2009 um 10:39 pm
Absolutely stunning! Great choice of yellow dessert. Great event!
chika September 17, 2009 um 10:46 pm
I love pots de creme, I love lemon, and chamomile sounds like a great addition to these pretty yellow pots of custard. I can perfectly imagine how soothing these must taste.
I've tried your frangipane clafoutis recipe with figs and grapes the other day. Mine didn't rise all that much in the first place (which is the case with EVERY SINGLE THING baked in my crappy oven) but didn't sink much either. And most importantly, tasted lovely. Thank you!
Nada September 17, 2009 um 10:53 pm
Amazing pictures..I am always impressed…
Sneh September 17, 2009 um 11:04 pm
Beautiful! Its amazing how a sunny mood can put you in the mood for lemons and pancakes and mangoes and sweet yellow things 🙂
Char September 17, 2009 um 11:21 pm
oh, I love all things lemon – divine
Barbara September 17, 2009 um 11:22 pm
Mmmmmmmmmmm these sound delicious. See I knew you'd come up with a brilliant dish:) Gorgeous gorgeous photos from a gorgeous lady. Thank you Helene for your support.
Erika September 17, 2009 um 11:45 pm
Your dessert looks so smooth! Love the yellow everywhere.
fabelicious September 17, 2009 um 11:57 pm
I love lemons and I'm always on a lookout for easy lemon recipes and this fit the bill. Thanks for sharing!
La Table De Nana September 17, 2009 um 11:57 pm
I even love the spoons:)
Renee September 18, 2009 um 12:24 am
Oh my god – those spoons are to die for! I haven't even read your post yet, but I LOVE the spoons!
Nutmeg Nanny September 18, 2009 um 12:50 am
It's great to see people supporting LiveSTRONG day. I'm hoping to get something up tomorrow…wish me luck! These pots de creme are adorable and your bowls and spoons are sooooo cute:)
Amy J in SC September 18, 2009 um 1:03 am
I can't stop looking at the photos. The colors are just lovely and a nice farewell to summer.
Great idea about the wood for a base – smart.
Jessica September 18, 2009 um 1:31 am
Love this blog! Everything looks so yummy! 🙂
Miss Cupcake September 18, 2009 um 1:32 am
Just lovely. Please tell us more about the spoons. They are also a fabulous detail to what looks like a delicious dessert.
alli/hooray September 18, 2009 um 1:42 am
These look amazing! And the photo styling is wonderful as always!
Jennifer September 18, 2009 um 2:01 am
What a wonderful event!!!! Too funny about the yellow bananas! But I do think the lemons were just destined to be for this special creation. Beautiful work!!
Mimi September 18, 2009 um 3:19 am
Great idea for the lemon Pot de creme, beautiful presentation.
Nina Timm September 18, 2009 um 3:32 am
I got two huge boxes of lemons last week, but haven't found a recipe that tickled me yet…..until now that is!!! Sunday dessert that is then…lemon pots de creme!!!
Jen Yu September 18, 2009 um 3:35 am
I can honestly say that one of the best things to come out of my food blogging is having made a friend in you and so many other wonderful wonderful people (Barbara, esp). I love your contribution – something very comforting which is what we want when we find out someone has cancer. I hope you'll sneak one on the plane and have it for me in SFO?! 🙂 hee hee. xxoo Cannot WAIT!
MollyCookie September 18, 2009 um 4:32 am
I just wanted to say that I really, really love those spoons. Those are beautiful!
Rosa's Yummy Yums September 18, 2009 um 5:03 am
A wonderful entry! Those pots de crème are marvelous (just like everything you make)!
Cheers et bon weekend,
Natalie September 18, 2009 um 5:09 am
I love your photography. I'm one of those cooks who needs a great picture to drool over if I'm going to brave the recipe. If you ever want to blog about photographing food, tips etc, I'd be all ears! Fantastic!
Alexandra September 18, 2009 um 5:25 am
I love it! Your heart has no bottom, you're a true gem!
*I was thinking of your chamomile syrup today…
Simones Kitchen September 18, 2009 um 5:51 am
I've already seen quite a few entries for taste of yellow and they are all fabulous! But these lemon chamomille pots de creme… just sound heavenly! I love lemons! I just bookmarked the recipe as I seriously want to make this soon!
LAteaGIRL September 18, 2009 um 6:04 am
I love this recipe. I want to get out of bed and make it right now! I have a tea company and we have a chamomille, lemongrass and peppermint tea that I am going to sub for the plain chamomille. I think it will be delish, but I am thinking I shld eliminate the lemon zest and just keep the 1/4 cup juice since there is lemongrass in the tea. Does that sound logical to you?
Edda September 18, 2009 um 9:35 am
Tu as toujours des idées subtiles, élégantes et cette crème est vraiment réconfortante. Photos sublimes comme d'habitude avec cette lumière chaude qui va très bien avec la camomille. Merci!
Nic September 18, 2009 um 10:24 am
I am a lemon freak and these look fabulous! I can see why 3 were gone before lunch!
NKP September 18, 2009 um 12:01 pm
What a lovely recipe, and the little flowered spoons are so precious!
Unknown September 18, 2009 um 1:03 pm
Looks delicious as always! I'm loving the spoons ;D
I did want to know, however, more about your Pastry Bootcamp. I've been curious since your first mention of it.
Barbara September 18, 2009 um 2:17 pm
Your photos, per usual, are gorgeous, enticing and professional. And yes, I agree, yellow has a flavor- has to be lemon. I can always count on your blog for a wonderful recipe. Thanks!
The Italian Dish September 18, 2009 um 2:27 pm
Oh such a beautiful dish for the Live Strong Yellow event. And I love your cute little spoons. Beautiful, as always!
Aimée September 18, 2009 um 2:33 pm
Yep, the dessert is a masterpiece, Helen, but can I comment on how utterly precious those spoons are?!!
The Short (dis)Order Cook September 18, 2009 um 6:19 pm
Beautiful and delicious. I'm surprised that you didn't think of lemons right away since you are a citrus lover if I recall correctly.
Helene September 18, 2009 um 7:10 pm
The Short (dis)Order Cook: Oh trust me I did but I wanted something less obvious.
LateaGirl: as you know, lemongrass and lemons are quite different so you could leave the zest in there. The only reason to take it out would be if you wanted a more pronounced lemongrass flavor.
Unknown September 18, 2009 um 8:04 pm
Those look lovely Tartlette! I have been looking for pot de creme pots for months. where on earth did you find these!
Kitchen Butterfly September 18, 2009 um 8:49 pm
This would be lovely with some vanilla for its delicate flavour and scent…and maybe a touch of chilies for some heat. Looks lovely anyhow and your photos are…..on the spot
pastry studio September 18, 2009 um 8:50 pm
These sound and look really wonderful. I love the subtlety of chamomile and the brightness of lemon. Beautiful.
*Ulrike* September 18, 2009 um 10:15 pm
I have always loved my mom's lemon pies, but hers were with help from a box. Yet she's been doing it for 50+ years! And it's still good. But these, now these look so scrumptious, yummy, that I will have to try and make them. Must be with fall coming on it makes me want to be in the kitchen again instead of the garden!!
Jess September 18, 2009 um 11:57 pm
The creme looks divine but I have to ask you — where did you get those adorable ramekins and spoons? They're so happy!
Lauren September 19, 2009 um 12:08 am
Ooo! These sound perfect =D. I love lemon and chamomile, and this sounds like a beautiful combination of the two!
Dana September 19, 2009 um 12:09 am
What a lovely little dessert. I'm sure it's rich but I also think lemon is so refreshing after a heavy meal. The presentation here is just gorgeous!
Helene September 19, 2009 um 4:26 am
Jess: the spoons are from a company called Greengate and the ramekins are from a company called ASA.
Thank you everyone! I am just happy to help Barbara support such an awesome cause in any small way I can!
La Cuisine d'Helene September 19, 2009 um 4:22 pm
So nice of you that you are taking part of this great event. Love those pots de crème. Ils sont très jolis.
Patricia Scarpin September 19, 2009 um 6:12 pm
My dear, your pots the creme are much more fun than mine – I love it that you added chamomile, it sounds amazing! That golden crust on top, yum… 🙂
Deliciously Organic September 19, 2009 um 8:50 pm
I just read your article "Tips on Food Photography" and I found it extremely helpful! Thank you so much for taking out the time to write and share with everyone. Your photography is simply amazing!
veron September 20, 2009 um 2:34 am
Pots de creme has been one of my first obsessions. But I have never tried anything other than chocolate and vanilla. Know how you love lemon, my friend! 🙂
Anonymous September 20, 2009 um 1:54 pm
Once again lovely!
And those spoons are adorable!
Madame Fromage September 20, 2009 um 5:21 pm
How lovely. I never would have though about putting chamomile in custard, but I'm smitten with the idea. A beautiful post.
Ulla September 20, 2009 um 9:59 pm
you probably get this all the time but so gorgeous! i almost lost my breath!
Anna September 21, 2009 um 4:26 am
These look divine, as always, but where did you get those adorable spoons?
Shirley @ Kokken69 September 21, 2009 um 6:24 am
Hi Helen, I have been waiting for your Taste of Yellow post. This is really beautiful and I hope I will get to make it one day… there are just too many goodies from your blog to try… 🙂
Helene September 21, 2009 um 2:43 pm
Anna: the spoons are from a company called Greengate.
Thank you everyone!
anadelicias September 21, 2009 um 3:38 pm
MMMMMMMMMMMM!!!!!! Look delicious and so simple… Pics are beautiful!!
Helene September 21, 2009 um 6:03 pm
Deborah: thanks that's the same link I gave earlier in the comments.
Engineer Baker September 22, 2009 um 12:32 am
Oh my goodness – brilliant idea with the painted wood! I would never have thought of that! And tongue-nippingly refreshing and lemony? Even though I'm not a huge citrus person, that description makes my mouth water!
Alina September 22, 2009 um 2:50 pm
HOW INTERESTING!! I've never thought of adding camomile to lemon, except for camomile tea of course!! Now this is a recipe I'll definitely save to my favourites! Thank you!
Parisbreakfasts September 22, 2009 um 5:53 pm
Whisk-At-Hand September 22, 2009 um 10:14 pm
Can't wait to try this tonight!
For the spoons I tried to find Greengate but couldn't find any US sites. Do you know of a vendor in the US or have you bought yours overseas? Thanks!
Whisk-At-Hand September 23, 2009 um 4:39 pm
Made this last night! Yum, They were wonderful! I definitely need smaller ramekins as they were a little too rich for the hubby and I to each have our own. I might just have to buy the espresso cups you used! Great recipe!
Helene September 23, 2009 um 6:18 pm
mmiller: My mom ordered them for me in France and brought them over. I wish they had a retailer here too! Well, maybe not…I'd want to buy everything! Glad you enjoyed the pots de creme.
Helene September 23, 2009 um 6:18 pm
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jelli September 25, 2009 um 11:32 pm
I love those floral print spoons! How unique!
Meg September 26, 2009 um 3:30 pm
These photos are so beautiful! The colors absolutely warm my heart. 🙂