One of the simplest and best desserts I know. My creamy coffee pots are based on food writer Patricia Wells’ lemon version, wherein fresh lemon or lime juice replaces the wincingly strong coffee below (added to the sugar—upped to 1/2 cup in the lemon case—rather than boiled with the milk). Both ways, they are unsurpassed: polished in flavor and sublimely smooth in texture.
1Heat the oven to 325°F. Bring the cream and coffee to a boil in a saucepan. Meanwhile, beat the sugar and egg yolks together in a bowl until light and fluffy. If you’d thought of adding a shot of alcohol or other flavoring, this is the time.
2Slowly pour the scalded coffee milk into the egg mixture, whisking constantly. Strain into six 1/2-cup ramekins. Skim off any foam that forms on top (if it bothers you). Set the ramekins into a baking dish and pour around boiling water to come halfway up their sides.
3Bake until just set, about 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool, then refrigerate for several hours, or overnight, before serving.
Beverage pairing:Niepoort 10 Years Old Tawny, Portugal. This simple but satisfying dessert would be accentuated by something complex and sweet. The nutty, toffee, and spice-inflected tastes of this tawny port will merge addictively with the cream and coffee of the dessert.
This recipe, while from a trusted source, may not have been tested by the CHOW food team.