How did this happen?
That’s what my roommate, Anu, kept asking me as she paced around our apartment, fervently licking creme brulee out of the little crimped edges of the ramekin that were all too tragically spoon-inaccessible.
You see, just a mere half hour before, she had walked into the kitchen to find me swearing off all things green, with avocado traces conspicuously strewn all over the kitchen counters and in my hair. Trying to whip vegan milk.
Have you ever tried to whip vegan milk before?
Don’t. It’s an exercise in futility.
And now here she was with a full-fledged delicious, and dare I say – healthy – version of creme brulee in her hands. So yes. Queries as to what had actually transpired in that kitchen were certainly warranted.
I have no idea.
All of a sudden, after my very tired hand mixer looked at me pathetically thirty-two too many times, I decided to seize the day. Carpe diem. And I just mixed the avocado straight into the maybe-now-slightly-thickened-but-certainly-not-whipped pistachio-infused milk mixture. My plan was to whip this new weird piercingly green avocado-milk mixture since avocados have a lot of fat, which is what you really need for whipping anyway. But upon further inspection the whole thing seemed quite custardy as is. So instead I just plopped it into ramekins. Crossed my fingers. Clicked my heels a few times. And hoped for the best.
And somehow, “the best” happened. Hallelujah.
So now that we’ve tackled “how”. You might be wondering “why”? Well. The theme for this month’s Dessert Wars is green. And as such we had to include one traditional and one non-traditional green ingredient in our dessert. Last summer, I went to Bobby Flay’s Bar Americain with my parents where I consumed a pistachio creme brulee for dessert. It rocked my world and made up for the fact that I had not been on a date in five months. Yeah. It was good. So I took that idea and ran with it. And now here we are. I have not been on a good date now in at least a year. And I am strangely okay with that, thanks to this creme brulee, which you can actually feel good about eating and which may actually lower your cholesterol levels. I bet you never thought you’d see the day…
1 cup shelled pistachios, salted
5 tbsp sugar, plus more for sprinkling and blowtorching
1 1/2 cups vegan milk – I used coconut
1 1/2 avocados
4 tbsp vanilla sugar
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp coconut oil
2 tbsp flour
1. Place the pistachios and sugar in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped, but not a paste. Combine with the milk in a heavy saucepan over medium heat and stir until it becomes hot. Remove from the heat, cover with the lid, and let steep for 30 minutes.
2. Pour the contents from the saucepan through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl. Wet a clean thin kitchen towel with cold water and squeeze out as much water as possible. Put the pistachio solids into the center of the towel, wrap the edges up around the nut meat, and squeeze out any remaining liquid into the bowl. Discard the pistachios. Place the bowl of milk into an ice water bath, stirring until it is cool.
3. Pit and peel the avocados, then process in the food processor with the vanilla sugar and lemon juice until smooth.
4. Add 2 tbsp coconut oil and 2 tbsp flour to the milk mixture. Mix with a hand mixer on high for 5 minutes. This will make it frothy and help to thicken it a bit.
5. Mix the avocado mousse into the milk. Divide among ramekins, then cover each ramekin with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes. Just before serving, remove plastic wrap and sprinkle with 2 tsp sugar. Move blowtorch flame back and forth just above the sugar until it is caramelized and slightly browned. Let stand 2 minutes before serving.
This is my submission to this month’s Dessert Wars, the theme of which is GREEN!