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.