Teacup Full of Tastiness

I promised more recipes with tea in them, didn’t I?

Mmm, so creamy and spicy.

Mmm, so creamy and spicy.

This recipe was created out of a need to use up egg yolks. I’m always ending up with extra yolks, because I like making meringue so much. And my standard cupcake recipe only has whites in it.

I would so make this again. You should make it at least once.

I would so make this again. You should make it at least once.

Even though I love homemade ice cream, I know I can’t make it as nice as I could if I had an ice cream maker. So I decided to stop short and just make a custard.

If I owned a restaurant I would definitely serve this as a fall dessert. In teacups, of course.

If I owned a restaurant I would definitely serve this as a fall dessert. In teacups, of course.

I have no idea where I got the idea to make a chai-flavored custard. I just know that once I had the idea, there was no turning back. And I had to add vanilla bean. Just because chai is always better with vanilla.

Look at that color! It's not caramel but it sure looks like it.

Look at that color! It's not caramel but it sure looks like it.

Just like there was no turning back once I dipped the spoon into the little teacup.

Oops...I didn't mean to eat that much.

Oops...I didn't mean to eat that much.

I preferred this custard hot, though, just like the tea itself, it’s equally delicious cold. Just keep in mind that it will want to form a skin very quickly as it cools, so if you’ll be serving it cold you should cover it with plastic like you would for a curd.

Vanilla Chai Custard

I went out and bought this teacup and saucer just for the photo. See how dedicated I am? (They were $1 at Goodwill...shhh)

I went out and bought this teacup and saucer just for the photo. See how dedicated I am? (They were $1 at Goodwill...shhh)

2 cups whole milk

1 whole star anise

6-8 whole cloves

6-8 allspice berries

1 small cinnamon stick (about 4″ long)

6-8 white peppercorns

1-2 crushed green cardamom pods

1 small vanilla bean (I used a small, about 4″ Tahitian bean)

2-3 Tbsp looseleaf English Breakfast tea

6 egg yolks

2/3 cup sugar

1/4 cup cornstarch

Pinch fine salt

1 Tbsp unsalted butter

Place the milk, spices and tea in a medium saucepan. Split the vanilla bean, scrape the seeds and add the seeds and pod to the milk. Heat to a boil over medium heat. Remove immediately once it comes to a low boil. Allow the milk to steep in the tea and spices for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, whisk together the yolks and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the cornstarch and whisk until no lumps remain. With a large slotted spoon, remove the cinnamon stick, vanilla pod and as much tea and whole spice as you can from the milk, then pour it into the yolk mixture by fourths, whisking constantly to prevent curdling. Whisk in the salt, strain into a clean medium saucepan and cook over medium-high heat, whisking constantly until the custard thickens. Remove from heat and stir in butter. If serving hot, pour into individual teacups and serve immediately. If serving cold, pour into a medium bowl and cover with plastic wrap pressed down onto the surface, with holes poked into it to allow steam to escape. Chill at least 2 hours in the fridge.

This would make a great fall dessert, for a somewhat fancy Thanksgiving dinner or a sit-down Halloween meal. But it’s just as good now in the spring, because chai is delicious any time of year. You could serve it cold as the ending to a casual spring or summer meal, or as a treat to a group of tea-loving friends. Basically, this is delicious, and you should make it.

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6 responses to “Teacup Full of Tastiness

  1. that looks delicious. puddings and custards are my absolute favorite dessert, but it always seems like i’m the one who likes them the most so i never end up making them when i’m doing dessert for a crowd (which is what always happens). i did an earl grey pot de creme last summer that was outstanding- there’s something about the cream/tea combination that works so beautifully.

    but now, more puddings i say!

  2. we should be neighbor… as I always need yolks in my baking… besides, I can make some excuse coming over for having this gorgeous custard with all the spices I love!

  3. Oooh that looks fantastic! I love chai flavoured anything and this looks right up my alley :) Love the cup and saucer too-no way, $1?! :O

  4. I LOVE chai!!! In a custard, heavenly!!!

  5. That does indeed look delicious – I couldn’t understand when I read ‘I found myself with leftover egg yolks” but now, I understand and now…Eric wants Chai flavored custard…yumms

  6. I just made this custard this morning. I’ve had this bookmarked since April and only now made it, but that’s a good thing. I would be 500 pounds by now if I’d known how simple and fantastic this dessert is! I didn’t have all of the whole spices nor the vanilla pod, so I used the spice inside my favorite chai tea and some vanilla extract. I only wish I would have used more tea or steeped it for longer, it could use just a little more flavor, but that’s all my fault. It’s so delicious just the same, thank you so much for this recipe!

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