Some of my friends were having a Costa Rican-themed party to watch Jurassic Park. And I said, "I’ll bring dessert!", because that’s what I do.
Only I had no idea what a Costa Rican dessert was. A bit of googling, and I had a list of possibilities: Tres Leches (one person was lactose-intolerant, so that was right out), rice pudding (same problem), panna cotta (too hard to transport). And then I found a site that mentioned orange custard and orange pound cake. I figured if I did both, everyone would have something they could eat.
So I stocked up on oranges.
I made the custard first. It was pretty simple – cream some butter and sugar, add a few eggs, some flour to thicken it, then some orange juice and orange zest. One that’s all combined, add a cup of milk.
I didn’t want to put it in individual ramekins, because they’re a pain to transport, and I’m ashamed to say that I don’t have a matching set anymore – I had 3 sets at one point, but a few have broken out of each set. Now I have just the right amount – only they’re in three different size.
So I figured I’d put it in my smallest CorningWare casserole. In retrospect, I should have doubled it to fill the casserole better, but I didn’t realize that until it was in the pan.
It took longer to bake then the recipe called for, but I expected that. I started checking on it at 45 minutes, but it wasn’t really finished until it had been in for an hour.
I was worried the edges would over-cook, but it came out remarkably even.
While it cooled, I made the pound cake.
This was a very odd pound cake recipe. The technique was more like a biscuit dough – the dry ingredients got combined first, then the butter was worked into the flour. Once it was crumbly, the liquid went in.
When everything was mixed, it was still disturbingly lumpy. But my dough matched the pictures in the recipe, so I took the chance and poured it into the pan.
Luckily, the oven was still pre-heated from the custard.
60 minutes later, and it was done. While it was cooling, I reduced down some orange juice and sugar into a glaze. When it was ready to come out of the pan, the glaze got brushed on top to soak into the cake, making it amazingly moist.
Unfortunately, I forgot to take a picture once the glaze was on it, so you’ll have to imagine a shinier version here.
They both got great reviews. I think the custard was supposed to be softer then it was, so I may have overcooked it a bit. No one complained, certainly, and I liked it a lot.
The pound cake was also a hit – the orange really jumped out at you, and the cake flour made it light, and the glaze made it moist. It’s going in my regular rotation of "desserts to take places". I think it would be equally good with grapefruit or lemon. Maybe even lime, with some coconut added.
All in all, I considered them both a success.