Small puddings made with hackberry milk inspired by the bonet custard of Piedmonte, Italy.
Makes 4 small 4 oz jelly jars.
Course: Brunch, Dessert
Cuisine: American, Italian
Keyword: Custard, Hackberry
¼cupmaple sugar or brown sugar
½teaspoonGalium extract or vanilla extract
3tablespoonsginger cookie crumbscrushed amaretti cookies or unseasoned breadcrumbs (any of these are fine, just don’t skip it)
Make the hackberry milk
Toast the hackberries on the stove for a few minutes, but don’t burn them add the water to the pan and bring to a boil, then pour into a blender and, carefully, making sure there’s a vent in the top to prevent the lid from blowing off, blend the berries and water on medium-then medium-high, and then high, lasting for about 45 seconds.
Strain the hot milk through a fine strainer or a nut bag or cheesecloth, squeezing out the excess when you can handle it. If you use a strainer, do not press the solids through or you will get too much of the crunchy seeds.
Measure the nutmilk, you should have 12 oz.
Build the custard
Heat the butter, cinnamon and maple or brown sugar until melted and sizzling, allowing it to cook and sizzle a bit to cook off moisture before adding the nutmilk. Add the nutmilk, whisk to combine and cool until 90F (or room temp) then add the eggs and extract and puree with a handblender or in a blender.
Stir the cookie crumbs or bread crumbs into the custard then pour into 4 four-ounce ramekins or jelly jars and put in a baking pan with high sides. Fill the pan with hot, but not boiling water halfway up the custards, then bake, uncovered, for 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes, turn the heat of the oven off, open the door to let some heat out, count to five, then close the door and allow the custards to cool in the oven until room temperature.
Remove the cooked custards, wipe the bottoms clean, screw on lids or wrap in cling film and refrigerate until needed. Allow to come to room temperature before serving. Garnish with whipped cream, stewed berries, and toasted, freshly cracked nuts. The custards will last for 4 days in the fridge.