Cafe Terra Cotta Garlic Custard Recipe


This delightful savory garlic custard makes a great appetizer or first course as it is very stunning delicious and smooth.  The Phoenix New Times in 2000 awarded this dish the best garlic custard in Phoenix.


Cafe Terra Cotta Garlic Custard Recipe:
Prep Time
45 mins
Cook Time
50 mins
Total Time
1 hr 35 mins
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: Southwest
Keyword: Cafe Terra Cotta Garlic Custard Recipe
Servings: 8 servings
Cafe Terra Cotta Garlic Custard:
Salsa Fresca Vinaigrette:
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 3/4 cup olive oil, extra-virgin
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon-style mustard
  • 1 cup Salsa Fresca**
Herbed Hazeluts:
  • 1 cup hazelnuts, toasted***
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon oregano leaves, dried and crumbled
  • 1/4 teaspoon thyme leaves, dried and crumbled
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon cumin, ground (or to taste)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Cafe Terra Cotta Garlic Custard Instructions:
  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.  Adjust oven rack to center position.  Lightly butter eight (1/4 cup) custard cups or ramekins and set them into a large baking dish.

  2. In a large bowl, combine, garlic, jalapeno chilepepper, cream, egg, egg yolks, white pepper, and nutmeg.

  3. Pour egg mixture into prepared custard cups.  Place the baking dish with the custard cups into your hot oven.  Carefully pour warm water into the baking pan to come half-way cup the sides of the custard cups.

  4. Bake 45 to 50 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean.  Remove from oven leave the custards in the water bath to keep warm (can be kept in water bath up to 20 minutes).

  5. While custards are baking, prepare Salsa Fresca Vinaigrette.  

  6. To serve, turn the custards out of their ramekins onto individual serving plates.  Spoon warm Salsa Fresca Vinaigrette over each one and sprinkle with Herbed Hazelnuts.

  7. Makes 8 servings (depending on size of custard cups).

Salsa Fresca Vinaigrette:
  1. In a small saucepan over low heat, whisk together red wine vinegar, olive oil, mustard, and Salsa Fresca; set aside to keep warm.

  2. Cut tomatoes into 1/4-inch dice; put the tomatoes with their juices into a bowl.  Rinse and stem the jalapeno chile; shake out seeds and cut out the veins.  Finely chop the chili. Add it to the bowl, along with the onion, cilantro, and juice.  Stir gently to mix; add additional lime juice, salt, and pepper to taste.

  3. Makes about 2 1/4 cups.

Herbed Hazelnuts Instructions:
  1. Coarsely chop nuts.  In a large frying pan over low heat, melt butter.  Add hazelnuts, oregano, thyme, cayenne pepper, cumin, salt, and pepper; saute until the nuts are well coated.  NOTE: Herbed Hazelnuts can be prepared in advance. 

Recipe Notes

* Learn How To Roast Garlic.

** If you don't have the time to make Salsa Fresca, you can purchase a good-quality salsa.

*** Your favorite nuts may be substituted (walnuts, pecans, or a mixture of nuts).


Source:  Recipe adapted from the Cafe Terra Cotta Restaurant in Scottsdale, Arizona.

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