Coconut Vanilla Pot de Creme #baketogether

I am joining Abby Dodge for another #baketogether this month featuring Vanilla Creme de Pots.  Since my youngest can't have dairy, I thought I would use coconut milk in place of the half and half.  The coconut flavor is so incredibly subtle as these pots are definitely vanilla.  I used both a vanilla pod and vanilla sugar when making these and I think it just ups the ante on the vanilla flavoring without being over powering.

Look at all those yummy vanilla specks of flavor.

I made the strawberry sauce since I had everything on hand and wow, that sauce is so good.  I added some to my greek yogurt this morning for breakfast and may add it to my strawberry cupcakes for a baby shower this weekend.  I'm kind of surprised my boys didn't see me scarf down my little pot of heaven after snapping pictures.  It was so good.  The next time I will try with the half and half for my husband and me since the recipe only makes 4 and that way, the two of us can have dessert after the boys go to bed. 

slightly adapted from Abby Dodge

Coconut Vanilla Creme de Pots with Double Strawberry Sauce
Makes 4 servings and 1 1/3 cup sauce.
For the pots of heaven:
1 vanilla bean split or 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract or paste
1 3/4 cup canned coconut milk (buy the full fat coconut milk, like Chaokoh)
5 large egg yolks
1/4 cup (1 3/4 ounces) granulated sugar (I used vanilla sugar)
1/8 teaspoon table salt
For the strawberry sauce:
1 package (10 ounces) frozen strawberries, thawed
1/4 cup strawberry jam (I use seedless)
1/4 – 1/2 cups (1 to 2 ounces) confectioners’ sugar
Pinch of table salt
To make the pots:
1.Measure the coconut milk in a 2-cup glass measure.
2. Position the vanilla bean on a cutting board and, using the tip of a sharp knife, split the bean lengthwise down the middle. Slide the edge of the knife down the cut side of each piece of the bean to release the seeds. Add the seeds and vanilla bean pieces to the coconut milk. Heat the mixture in the microwave until very hot, 2 to 3 minutes. Cover and let the mixture steep 30 or up to 2 hours. The longer the coconut milk and the vanilla bean and seeds steep, the more pronounced the vanilla flavor.
3. Position the oven rack on the middle rung. Heat the oven to 325°F. Arrange four 6-ounce ramekins in a baking pan with 2-inch high sides. I use my 8-inch square baking pan.
4. In a small saucepan, whisk the yolks, sugar and salt until well blended.(Don’t let them sit or the eggs will begin to break down.)  Uncover the coconut milk and, whisking, slowly pour the coconut milk (with the vanilla bean pieces) into the yolk mixture. Whisk until well blended. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly with a spoon or heat-proof spatula, until thickened and coats the back of a spoon or spatula (170-172°F on an instant read or candy thermometer), about 4 to 5 minutes.
5. Slide the pan from the heat and fish out the vanilla bean and scrape any custard from the pod back into the custard. Stir in vanilla extract or paste, if using.  Pour the custard into the ramekins (for a super-clean pot filling, I like to pour the custard back into the 2-cup measure and then pour it from there into the ramekins – the pour spout makes it so easy.) Carefully fill the baking pan with hot tap water to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins and cover the pan loosely with foil.
6. Bake until the pot de crèmes wiggle like jello when nudged, 35 to 45 minutes depending on thickness of the ramekin walls. Transfer the baking pan to a rack let cool completely. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 4 hours or up to 2 days before serving.
To make the strawberry sauce:
1. Combine the thawed strawberries, jam, 1/4 cup (1 ounce) confectioners’ sugar and the salt  in a food processor or blender. Whiz until pureed and well blended. Taste and add a touch more sugar if needed. Press through a fine-meshed sieve if you want a seedless sauce.
To serve:
1. Spoon a little of the custard out  of the center  -don’t go for perfect – and pour a little sauce into the cavity. Serve the remaining sauce on the side.

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