When I'm feeling fancy, I tend to reach for champagne. That champagne is then usually promptly deposited into a mason jar for sipping.
Sometimes I like my fancy dressed down a touch, i.e., champagne in a mason jar, Keds with a date-night dress. You know, that sort of thing.
It's sort of like this. This silky, flowery custard with satiny gin berry glaze is super duper fancy. You totally deserve fancy. And since everything tastes better in a mason jar (and since 4 oz. mason jars are some of the cutest containers around), this custard deserves to be housed in one. This is fancy-dressed-down dessert. Which works out well with all the post-custard-consumption jar-licking I see in my future. So fancy.
Jarred Lavender Custard
makes 12-14, 4-oz. jars
4 cups heavy cream
1/4 cup dried lavender
2 tsp. vanilla bean paste or 1 vanilla bean, scraped
8 egg yolks
3/4 cup granulated sugar
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Place jars in a baking pan and set aside. Set a pot of water on the stove to heat.
In a large saucepan over medium heat, whisk cream, lavender, and vanilla paste or pod and seeds together. Heat the cream, stirring frequently, to the scalding point (about 185 degrees F). Turn off heat and let lavender steep in the cream for 3-5 minutes.
In a large bowl, whisk yolks and sugar together until combined. Strain the cream to remove all the lavender bits (and vanilla pod if using). Whisking constantly, slowly pour the hot cream into the egg mixture. Divide custard mixture evenly among jars, filling to just above the bottom lip of the jar. Skim off bubbles and foam, if any, from the tops with a spoon. (Failure to skim will result in a strange spongy texture on top of your custard. We don't like that.)
Pull the middle rack of the oven out slightly and place the pan on it. Slowly pour the water that's been heating on the stove into the pan until slightly more than halfway up the sides of the jars. Bake for 40 minutes or until set but still shivering and slightly jiggly in the center. Remove pan from oven and let cool for about 20 minutes or until jars are cool enough to be handled. Remove the jars from the water bath and place in the refrigerator (I usually cover them with a clean, thin kitchen towel).
Once bottom and sides of the jars are cool, use a tablespoon to spoon cooled glaze (recipe follows) overtop. Pick the jar up and swirl around to coat the glaze over the entire top of the custard. Secure jars with lid and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or preferably overnight. Custards will hold tightly covered in the refrigerator 4-5 days.
Blackberry Gin Glaze
8 oz. blackberry preserves
3 Tbsp. granulated sugar
1/3 cup gin
In a medium saucepan, whisk preserves, sugar, and gin together until combined. Heat over medium-low heat until reduced and thickened. The glaze has reduced enough when it holds a 1/4 inch long string between two fingers. Transfer to a heatproof bowl and let cool at room temperature.
Leftover glaze may be stored tightly covered in the refrigerate for several weeks. To use glaze out of the refrigerator, simply heat it slightly to loosen.