Hey NMA-ers! It’s Christine here with your weekly healthy dessert recipe! For this Sweet-Tooth Friday, I went international and made Thai Steamed Peaches with Custard. You’re not going to believe how delicious and elegant a dessert can be with just FOUR ingredients!
Now for most of my Sweet-Tooth Friday posts, I’ve been sneaking nutritious elements into normally unhealthy desserts, like avocado into chocolate mousse. I’ve also been doing crazy substitutions to get my desserts to athlete standards- swapping out animal products and unrefined sweeteners with alternatives like flax and applesauce. The results have been delicious, but there have been a decent amount of ingredients involved to bring the healthy desserts into the yummy category.
At my last camogie game, a friend of mine requested a recipe with less ingredients for this week’s post. A long list of ingredients can appear time-consuming, complicated, and expensive. I decided to go back to basics. Besides, after a large and often spicy meal I am never craving a sky high piece of layer cake. All I really want is a piece of fruit with a little pizzazz to sweeten the palate.
You know, the best dessert I’ve ever had was at The Thai Restaurant in Baltimore. Like the restaurant’s name, this dessert seemed so simple but so perfect: fried bananas with a drizzle of honey and sprinkle of sesame seeds. With this inspiration, I left Betty Crocker on the shelf and reached for The Food and Cooking of Thailand.
The Thai cookbook had a recipe for Steamed Custard in Nectarines, which is similar to the Thai dish sankaya but done in a nectarine instead of a small pumpkin. If you’re curious about sankaya, be careful with your internet search—google repeatedly “corrected” my query to Sanjaya, the silly American Idol contestant with the weird hair!
Anyway, I went ahead and used peaches for my version since there are just so many around this time of year. Peaches are part of the “dirty dozen,” so try to find organic if you can. My peaches weren’t quite ripe, but steaming them really did wonders to open up their sweetness and softness.
I’m a baker, not a “steamer,” so this was a first for me. I think by getting outside my comfort zone I can really bring you Sweet-Toothers a simple and successful dish without relying on my experience. I was delighted to see how easy the custard was to make! Previous to this, I had only done it painstakingly over a double-boiler with lots of cornstarch, careful stirring, and dozens of failed “scrambled” custards. This one is just pour and steam!
Maybe you’ve noticed that this is the first Sweet-Tooth Friday that calls for a real egg. A lot of times in baking recipes the eggs really are unnecessary and are just there out of traditional misconceptions. I did this recipe THREE times, once with Ener-g egg replacer, once with two egg whites, and once with one whole egg. The egg replacer was just too slimy; the egg whites were passable but nothing to write home about. The whole egg, on the other hand, launched my taste buds into creme-brulee-meets-peach-French-toast land. There may be ways to make vegan custard, but with this few natural ingredients and without the magic of soy, it just wasn’t happening.
Also, the original recipe called for three tablespoons of palm sugar, which I would like to try but couldn’t get my hands on this week. I used 2 tablespoons of amber agave nectar and it was plenty sweet and the custard still firmed up. Go ahead and use honey if you prefer. For the coconut milk, just put two tablespoons aside the next time you open a can, or get one of those teensy cans.
Steamed Peaches with Custard
6 organic peaches
2 tbs agave nectar
2 tbs coconut milk
Optional garnish: fresh mint leaves, lime zest
Start heating a pot of water to boil.
Meanwhile mix together the egg, agave nectar, and coconut milk.
Cut the peaches in half along the “seam” and remove the stones. Use the spoon to hollow out a slightly larger cavity.
When the water is boiling, put peach halves into a steamer basket over the water. Pour the egg mixture into the cavity about 3/4 the way full. I’ll tell you from my own mess that it’s just silly to fill them first and transfer to the steamer second!
Cover and reduce heat to medium. Simmer for 7-10 minutes, until the filling is firm.
Take the steamer off the hot water, but let cool completely before removing the peaches from the steamer basket. This way they don’t lose their shape.
If you’d like, garnish with fresh mint leaves or lime zest.
These were so light and refreshing, with just the right amount of creamy decadence! They looked really nice served in little martini glasses with some extra coconut milk pooled in the bottom. This peach dessert will make an excellent ending to your spicy summer dishes and it’s so easy to make!
I hope you give this Sweet-Tooth Friday a try! It’s really a nice change of pace to have something so fresh and simple at the end of a meal. I never would have tried this if there hadn’t been a request for fewer ingredients but I am so glad I did! With that in mind, please remember that I take requests! If there’s a dessert you’ve been craving, let me know and I will try my best to revamp it with a NMA twist. Or if you have a ton of a certain ingredient around, say summer squash, let me know and we can create a yummy recipe based on that!
Can’t wait to hear from you!
Until next STF, stay sweet!