Holiday…coming…up…must…celebrate…with…color-coordinated…food!!! I try not to get TOO crazy about food and holidays, but each one has at least some special food that should go with it: First and last days of school = crazy ice cream flavors. Thanksgiving = sugar cones filled with candy to look like cornucopias. Heart-shaped sugar cookies = Valentine’s Day. You get the idea. So anyway, these are this year’s offering for the 4th of July (soon to be upon us!)
Seriously! The creation of this recipe required three attempts. Since I am my own taste tester (someone has to do it!) I can tell you that it was pretty fun to eat all three (different days– don’t worry.) The little French custards that are Pots de Crème have been famous at the Small Table basically forever. But how do you make just one Pot de Crème? Allow me to introduce you to a dangerous recipe– and an excellent use for just one egg yolk. (Use the white here.)
First of all, it is possible to preserve a yolk for a day or two until you are ready to use it. An extra yolk can be stored in the refrigerator for up to two days by putting it in a small cup, and pouring in enough fresh water to generously cover the yolk. Cover the cup tightly with plastic wrap, and pop it in the fridge. When you are ready to use the yolk, pour off the water, and you’re ready to go. See below for recipe links.
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That’s right–Brolls. This is a fantastic concept that makes it possible to enjoy a yeasted-type roll for dinner in just 30 minutes, start-to-finish. The name “brolls” is derived from the fact that we use a little baking powder to help the yeast along. This creates a soft, dense roll that is perfect with butter and jam. Do you have 10 minutes to spare? Then you have no NEED to KNEAD! Just use those 10 minutes to let the brolls rest on the counter before sliding them into the oven. Fifteen minutes later, you will have four small, perfect, golden accompaniments to any soup, salad, or entree.
The beauty, or rather, the luxury of a great small recipe is that you can use judicious amounts of luscious ingredients–precisely because it is small. Eat it; savor it; it’s gone. Then it’s back to eating mostly healthy food. You may have heard this referred to as the 80/20 rule: 80% healthy food, 20% indulgence. It has totally worked for me long-term, which is why I love some good heavy cream and egg yolks when a great recipe is begging for them!
Ah, the elegance of a small, silky pie. Thank you to Archimedes of Syracuse and to Geometry teachers everywhere for sponsoring today’s deliciousness. As you will see all over the cooking world, today, March 14 (3.14) is dedicated to all things pi(e). Similar to the cakes from my Small Cake Series, a small pie can be shared if you wish. But it certainly doesn’t have to be: leftover pie for breakfast is a lovely indulgence.