Savory Lemon Pots de Creme with Caviar

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The simple recipe is in "Daniel Boulud's Cafe Boulud Cookbook" (Simon & Schuster, 1999).   The lemon pot de creme is served with sevruga or osetra caviar.
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  • Serves 6


    • 11/2 medium lemons
    • 2 large eggs
    • 2 large egg yolks
    • 1 cup heavy cream
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • Pinch of sugar
    • Freshly ground white pepper
    • 3 ounces sevruga or osetra caviar


Center a rack in the oven and preheat oven to 300 F.

Finely grate and reserve the zest of the lemons. Then, using a small sharp knife, slice away all the white cottony pith beneath the zest, as well as the slimmest possible layer of fruit, so that the moist, juicy flesh of the lemons is exposed. Cut the lemons crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices and remove the seeds.

Toss the lemon slices, eggs, yolks, cream, salt and sugar into the container of a blender (first choice) or food processor and puree until smooth.

Strain the mixture into a bowl, season with pepper and stir in the lemon zest. Skim off the layer of foam that will have formed on top of the mixture.

Arrange six 4-ounce custard cups, espresso cups or ramekins in a small roasting pan, leaving an equal amount of space between them, and fill each to the halfway mark with the lemon custard. Using a small pitcher, fill the roasting pan with enough hot water to come halfway up the sides of the cups. Cover the pan with a double layer of plastic wrap (don't worry, it can stand the heat) and poke two holes in two opposite corners.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the edges color ever so slightly and the custards are lightly set but still jiggle a little in the center when you gently shake them. Remove pan from the oven and let the custards sit in the water bath for 10 minutes. Peel off the plastic wrap, lift the cups out of the water.

Serve immediately, or, if it is more convenient, you can let them sit at room temperature for up to 10 minutes.

To serve: Top each pot de creme with a generous spoonful of caviar.
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