Foods | Cooking
Hints & Tips
I adapted this recipe from the 1952 West Coast Cook Book by Helen Evans Brown. his is a spectacular
dessert that is well worth the effort for the impressive results.
Helen Brown was considered the culinary authority of the West Coast during the 1950s and 1960s. Helen says in her book, "Gourmets who visit San Francisco enthuse about this
dessert, which is to be found at a few of the best hotels and restaurants. It's not often served at home, apparently because most cooks don't dare
risk it, but it's really very simple to make."
Check out all of Linda's
Puddings, Creams, and Custard Recipes.
Fried Cream Recipe, Crema Fritta Recipe
Puddings, Creams & Custards,
Yield: 6 to 8 servings
Prep time: 20 min
Cook time: 20 min
1 envelope of unflavored
gelatin (approx. 2 teaspoons)
1/2 cup milk
eggs, yolks and whites separated
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 tablespoons dark rum
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 1/2 cups
1 vanilla bean or 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/3 cup finely grated nuts (use your favorite nuts)
1 cup saltine cracker crumbs, zwieback toast crumbs, panko crumbs, or finely ground bread crumbs
Olive oil for frying
1/4 cup dark rum (to
Powdered or coarse sugar, for garnish
*Half & half, buttermilk, whole milk, and/or sour cream
may be substituted for part of the cream.
Line a 12" x 9" baking pan or dish with
plastic wrap. Line a baking or cookie sheet with plastic wrap.
In a small bowl, sprinkle the gelatin over 1/2 cup milk;
let stand until the gelatin is softened, about 5 minutes.
In a large bowl, whisk together the egg
yolks, cornstarch, rum, salt and sugar until lightly thickened; set aside.
In a large saucepan, add cream. Add
vanilla extract or vanilla bean. NOTE: If using a vanilla bean, slice the bean lengthwise and
scrape out seeds into cream (add whole bean to cream for additional flavor). Bring cream
just to a simmer (do not let it boil), whisking occasionally; remove from heat and remove vanilla bean pod.
A little at a time, slowly add egg yolk mixture to the hot cream, whisking constantly. Return to low heat and bring
just to a simmer, whisking constantly. Let mixture simmer until it starts to
thicken. Remove from heat.
Add the softened gelatin mixture and whisk to completely dissolve the gelatin.
Strain hot cream mixture into a large glass measuring cup
with a pouring spout. NOTE: Don't skip the straining
step as it removes any bits of undissolved gelatin and insures a nice smooth dessert.
Also, don't let the cream mixture cool before straining. If
using a vanilla bean, lightly swirl the cream to distribute the seeds evenly.
Pour strained cream mixture into the prepared baking pan; spread evenly with a knife. Refrigerate until the cream
is cool and firm, at least 4 hours or overnight.
Remove from refrigerator and gently turn
over the dish and slide the chilled cream out on a flat board.
NOTE: If you have a marble board, use it. Using a sharp knife, cut the set-up cream into
2-inch shapes (squares, circles, oblongs, or diamond shapes).
Place ground nuts, egg whites (lightly whip
the egg whites), and cracker crumbs in separate shallow bowls. Gently dip
and coat each cream piece in this order: (1) ground nuts; (2) egg whites;
and (3) cracker crumbs. Place each coated piece on the prepared baking or
cookie sheet and refrigerate until firm.
When ready to serve, fill a deep pot no
more than halfway with extra-virgin oil. Heat oil over medium-high heat
until it reaches a temperature of 350 degrees F when testing with your
Cooking Thermometer. The oil should remain at or around this temperature throughout the cooking
Remove the cream pieces from the
refrigerator. Using a slotted spoon, lower cream pieces, a few at a time,
into the hot oil (being careful not to splatter); fry each piece quickly,
turning once, and just long enough to turn the almonds golden. Remove from
hot oil with a slotted spoon, drain on paper towels and then arrange
on a large heated serving platter or individual heated serving plates.
In a small saucepan over medium heat, heat rum just until bubbles begin to form around the edges (it will not flame
unless it is heated); ignite with a long match (always ignite the fumes and not the liquid itself), and pour over the cream pieces. Check out
How To Flambé.
If you do not want to flambé the Fried Cream, sprinkle with powdered or coarse sugar and serve immediately.
Makes 6 to 8 servings.