Baked Parmesan Custard (Serves 1 or more if you multiply the ingredients)
Take parsel, myntes, sauery, & sauge, tansey, veruayn, clarry, rewe, ditany, fenel, southrenwode, hewe hem & grinde hem smale, medle hem up with Ayrenn. Do butter in a trape & d be fars perto & bake it & messe it forth. – Frome of Cury (1390)
I often have a mixture of chopped, fresh herbs left after our supper club evenings which gives me a good excuse to make this dish (we always have eggs to hand thanks to our chickens). Parmesan custard may sound odd but it’s wonderfully soothing and a synch to make. Think of it as a quiche minus the pastry.
The quantities below serve 1 but you can scale it up according to the number of people you are feeding. You can omit the extra egg yolk if you are making this for more than a couple of people to save yourself from being left with lots of egg whites. The end result will just be slightly less rich. The cooking times are also a guide as it will depend on the size of your ramekin.
- 1 egg plus 1 egg yolk (optional), lightly beaten
- 2 tbsp double cream or creme fraiche (or whole milk at a push)
- 1 tbsp chopped, fresh mixed herbs (e.g. parsley, thyme, sage, rosemary, mint, oregano, chives – whatever you can lay your hands on)
- 2 tbsp finely grated parmesan
- A little salt and pepper to season
- Butter for greasing
- Mix all of the ingredients together in a jug or bowl then pour into a well buttered ramekin or small terracotta ‘tapas’ dish.
- Place the ramekin in a steamer basket above a pan of lightly simmering water for 10-15 minutes. Alternatively, you can stand the custard in a roasting tin containing enough boiling water to come half way up the ramekin then bake it in a preheated oven at 150℃ for 20-25 minutes (the latter method is more practical if you are making this for more than one person). Serve warm with hot buttered toast.