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French for "pot of cream", Pots de Crème, a baked custard, refers to both the rich custard dessert as well as the small lidded pots this dessert is served in. It is a relative of Crème Brulee, Crème Caramel, and Flan.
Pot de Crème contains a high proportion of egg yolks to whole eggs and sometimes only yolks. Milk or cream is heated and the flavoring (traditionally chocolate) is melted after the liquid is removed from the burner. The eggs are whisked until smooth. Then, the hot flavoring mixture is gently whisked into the eggs.
The custard should then be strained through a fine sieve to remove any bits of egg or chocolate not properly incorporated. This will produce very smooth custard. The empty cups are place in a baking dish. The mixture is poured into the cups until each is about 3/4 full.
Pot de Crème is baked in a bath of hot water. This process allows the eggs to cook slowly and evenly. Hot water is added to the baking dish until the level reaches about half way up the sides of the pots. The covers are put on the pots (or the baking dish covered with foil) to prevent a "skin" from forming on the top of the custard. The custard is baked in a low to moderate oven for about 20 minutes. It's important not to overcook the eggs because they will get "rubbery".
DID YOU KNOW?
Pot de creme, or pot-au-creme translates from French to English as "pot of cream".