only a moment

If you go to the hospital, and spend several hours in the pediatric surgical wing, it is to be expected that you will return home with germs you were not previously in possession of. Flu germs, to be precise.

Don't make a big deal about it, don't stress it, just go with it.

Lay low for a week. Watch movies. Make up stories and recipes. Have a puppet show. Let the vacuuming slide.

And by all means, make a creamy custard, warm with spices and crowned with rhubarb, Spring's first blush. As rich as cheesecake, but requiring only a moment to make, which is all the time a feverish head can spare for focusing.

It's a nice way to celebrate the season, while biding your time until you again feel the urge to break free of the house and breathe in the loamy air, whipped up by the wind and dog and your rake.

Eat slowly, and enjoy it.

Sour Cream Custard with Spiced Rhubarb
yields 6 servings

For the rhubarb:
8 fl. oz water
140 gr (2/3 cup) granulated sugar
1/2 vanilla bean
1/2 cinnamon stick
2 cardamom pods
100 gr (about 1/2 large stalk) rhubarb, cut into half-inch pieces

Prepare an ice bath.

Combine the water, sugar, vanilla bean, cinnamon stick, and cardamom pods in a small saucepan. Over medium-high heat, bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes.

Add the rhubarb, and continue simmering for 3 more minutes, or until rhubarb is tender. Transfer rhubarb and poaching liquid to a bowl and set in ice bath to cool. Once cool, remove bowl from ice bath, cover, and refrigerate for up to two weeks.

For the sour cream custard:
408 gr sour cream (alternately, you can use 420 gr plain Greek-style yogurt)
108 gr light brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp plus 1/8 tsp fine sea salt
1/3 tsp ground cardamom
2 large eggs (120 gr), lightly beaten

Preheat the oven to 350ºF.

In a medium bowl, combine the sour cream, sugar, vanilla, salt, and cardamom, and mix thoroughly. Add the beaten eggs and mix until combined.

Put a pot of water on to boil. Divide custard between 6 ramekins. Place ramekins in a glass or metal baking dish, and transfer to the oven. Carefully pour boiling water into the baking pan, to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Bake custards for 15-20 minutes, or until edges are set but center is still slightly wobbly. Cool on a rack, then refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving. Custards keep, wrapped and refrigerated, for up to three days.

Serve cold topped with spiced rhubarb and reserved poaching liquid.


  1. Wow -- this is just absolutely gorgeous!

  2. oh, this looks lovely. really, really lovely.

    i do hope everyone is on the mend, little and big, alike.

  3. e.m.b. and molly - Thank you both so much. We are all on the mend, thankfully!

  4. I love the gentle way you lead into this post. And such decadence! Looking forward to giving this a try.

  5. I hope you will feel better realy soon! This dessert looks amazing & ooh so pretty too!

    MMMMMM,...Kisses( without the germs) from Brussels to you!

  6. Allison - Thank you! The final product does seem very decadent, which is all the more wonderful given it's so easy to make!

    Sophie - Thank you! I'm not normally a pink girl, but that rhubarb has got me looking for pink everywhere now! Very pretty.

  7. Oh, I am a big pink girl! Just posted pink (pickled beets) eggs for easter...then went and made a pink potato salad with the pickled beets instead of using sweet gherkins...then my friend tells me she doesn't need potato salad tommorrow! Well, she WILL be in possession of the pink deviled eggs, like it or NOT!!LOL...

    The photo looks both mesmorizing and meditative. You quite captured your state, it seems. Hoping you mend well and soon.


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