Autumn has come. In San Diego, that means that the weather is about 6 degrees cooler and the tourists have gone home. The deciduous trees east of here bleed out the past, the crisp winds like medieval leeches extracting bad vibes from branches.
But what else am I going to do with an afternoon?
I think Thomas Edison said something about how messing up 1000 times only meant he knew 1000 ways of how to not make a lightbulb. I never understood this. He’s trying to make a lightbulb, not not make a lightbulb.
While I wish 1000 other things would go right, instead of being astonishing, I’ll settle for a half-decent custard.
Lemongrass Custard with Roasted Figs
from David Lebovitz
5 ounces (140g) fresh goat cheese, at room temperature
1/4 cup (50g) sugar
1/2 cup (120ml) milk or cream
2 large egg yolks
1 stalk of lemongrass
Preheat the oven to 350F (175C). Place four custard cups or ramekins in a deep baking dish or pan. Chop the lemongrass stalk and warm with the cream over low heat on the stove for about 8 minutes. Add anise extract to cream, strain out lemongrass. Blend together the goat cheese, sugar, cream, and egg yolks for 30 seconds until very smooth. Divide the mixture into the custard cups; each should be a bit more than half full. Add warm tap water to the baking pan, to make a water bath for baking the custards. The water should reach to about halfway up the side of each custard cup. Cover the pan with foil and bake for 15 to 20-minutes. When done, remove the custards from the water bath and cool completely.
from Jonathan Reynolds
10 firm ripe fresh figs
2 tablespoons butter, melted
2 tablespoons sugar
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cut the stems off figs and place figs in a buttered baking dish. Brush with butter and sprinkle with sugar. Bake 15 minutes, until bubbly and lightly caramelized. With scissors or a knife, make an X in the top so that each fig opens like a flower.