Honestly, I’m not quite sure that I understand all the hype (positive AND negative) surrounding Valentine’s day. That’s not to say that I don’t enjoy the holiday (I do, proudly). I think it’s excellent to take a little extra time out of your day to appreciate those you love, romantically or otherwise, including yourself. It’s easy to forget to slow down a bit and smell the flowers (literally and figuratively), and if this day reminds you to do so, then how bad can it be? I’m all for an excuse to indulge, but I’m just not, and never have been, a dozen long-stem red roses kind of girl.
So, give your mom a call just to say hi, send a homemade valentine to a friend (snail mail!), eat dessert for breakfast, proudly wear something bedecked in hearts, or do none of the above (do what makes YOU happy). Just try not to stress out about any of it too much. Because really, where’s the romance there? Oh, and if you have a significant other (or a sweet pet) give them extra kisses!
May I suggest you make this?
Each custardy bite is fragrant with the perfume of melted creamsicles, punctuated by the sharp slightly bitter burst of cranberries, preventing it from veering into saccharine territory; this is sweet-tart at its finest. I dare say I’m in full blown puppy love with this dessert.
Bonus points: It’s a lovely shade of red!
This is wonderfully simple to prepare; if you’ve made pancakes before, it should be a breeze. Quick enough for a weeknight; elegant enough for company. I imagine this would be extra darling in individual ramekins (it would fit perfectly divided between eight ½ cup vessels), just leave a little room at the top for it to puff up. Serve unadorned, with a dollop of lightly sweetened freshly whipped cream, or a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
Adapted from Martha Stewart Living: November 2011
½ tablespoon unsalted butter, melted, for dish
½ cup plus 1 tablespoon (3 ⅞ ounces) granulated sugar
¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons (1 ⅞ ounces) all-purpose flour
heaping ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
2 large eggs
¾ cup heavy cream
¾ cup whole milk
2 teaspoons finely grated orange zest (from about 1 orange)
1 ½ cups fresh or thawed frozen cranberries
Preheat oven to 400°F.
Brush melted butter all over the bottom and sides of a 1-quart shallow baking dish (not metal); sprinkle 1 tablespoon sugar all over.
Whisk together remaining sugar, flour, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Whisk together egg, cream, milk and zest in a medium mixing bowl. In two additions, whisk the cream mixture into the sugar mixture.
Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish. Scatter cranberries evenly on top. Bake on top of a baking sheet (to ensure any batter doesn’t leak onto your oven floor) for 30-34 minutes, until puffed, barely set in the center, and light brown around the edges. Allow to cool for 15 minutes on a wire rack (it will sink, so don’t fret!).
Dust with powdered sugar. Serve warm.
You’ve likely heard this many times before, but it’s worth repeating, microplane graters really do make zesting citrus without including any of the bitter pith a breeze. I’m inclined to travel with mine!
Make sure to pick over fresh cranberries, any that are squishy and/or do not bounce should be discarded.