For almost four years, this has been one of my go-to recipes for nearly every kind of occasion: tapas parties, holiday brunches, baby and bridal showers. . . You get the idea. Versatile, and inevitably a hit with my guests. The first time I tried the recipe that inspired this was at a friend’s house, over brunch, and I ate more than my fair share. The recipe has evolved as I’ve experimented with ingredients and has finally arrived at the ideal combination. The only down side is that you won’t have any left overs. What’s maybe more tempting than it being so delicious is that it’s so easy. Combine ingredients, blend, and bake. This can be made a day ahead to even lessen your duties as the host(ess) on the day of entertaining. That said, you don’t HAVE to have a party to make these, you can completely spoil yourself and no one will ever have to know.
Three Cheese & Chive Custard
by Stephanie Kunstle, inspired by Baked Egg Custard from Gourmet, 2008
Note: Yes, you really need whole nutmeg and a microplane grater to make this as good as it can be. Otherwise, I would recommend using half as much nutmeg (if it’s pulverized out of a jar). Also, if you don’t have a Cuisinart food processor, then a blender will do almost as good of a job of blending, but tends to be messier and the blending more irregular. Recipe can be doubled, or tripled! Makes 18 regular cupcake-sized custards with a delicate crust around the edges as I have shown above, or you can bake it in a 2 qt. shallow baking dish and serve from the dish in squares, or use fluted biscuit cutters to cut out any size you wish with a very elegant edge (save the scraps for snacking later!).
- 3 oz. grated Emmentaler (1 cup grated)
- 3 oz. grated Gruyère (1 cup grated)
- 1/3 cup finely chopped chives
- 10 large eggs
- 1 and 1/2 cups whole milk
- 4 oz. cream cheese, softened for at least an hour at room temp.
- 3/4 tsp. of freshly grated nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- Preheat oven to 350° F, and butter 2-qt. baking dish, or line two muffin pans with 18 muffin/cupcake liners.
- Sprinkle the Gruyère, Emmentaler and chives evenly along the bottom of either the dish or the liners.
- In a Cuisinart food processor, puree the eggs, milk, cream cheese, nutmeg and salt until light and super foamy. Pour evenly into the dish, or cupcake liners. Bake for 35-45 minutes until puffed and golden (at my high altitude, we are closer to 45 minutes on baking time). Once removed from the oven, the custard will “fall” — don’t worry, this is normal!
- Let stand for about 10 minutes before serving (then remove liners if you are using these). Serve warm or at room temperature. If you make this the day before, just rewarm in a 350° F oven for 15-20 minutes before serving, or set out until warmed to room temperature.