It may be September, but that doesn’t mean summer is over. In a month, you’ll hear me singing a different tune, but in the meantime let’s just enjoy it. The days are getting shorter, there’s no doubt about it, but 86°F with a breeze at 5pm and a gorgeous sunset is nothing to complain about. In fact, I could wax on about this time of year like a kid about Christmas morning. The plump apples on our trees are hanging in perfect sweet/tart balance, yet there’s still sweet summer corn and juicy tomatoes at the market. The nights no longer necessitate a fan and bedtime mint tea sounds soothing. The back to school buzz is in the air, and opportunity to start fresh.
It’s a perfect time to juxtapose the amazing fresh produce still available with something a little comforting, something a little rich. Perfectly ripe nectarines need no garnish or drizzle, no chiffonade of this or flecks of that. But after savoring a few on their own, there’s no reason not to enjoy them sliced over creamy vanilla oat custard.
This recipe isn’t vegan (although it could be). It isn’t low-fat or grain-free or nut-free (although it could be). It’s not your breakfast porridge (although…), it’s dessert. Perfect for a night like this.
Vanilla Oat Custard with Nectarines
Almond, hemp, rice and soy milk would work here. For a vegan variation, use a non-dairy milk, switch out the butter for coconut oil, skip the egg and use agave instead of honey. Any other ripe fruit would be great too-they custard needs something fresh and a little acidic to cut through it. Berries would be lovely, Ameen just happens to love nectarines (but not peaches...weird)
Serves 4 (makes 3 cups of custard)
1 cup (120 grams) whole grain oat flour
4 cups (975 grams) milk
1 large (50 grams) egg
Dash of vanilla extract (or smidge of vanilla bean seeds if you have a spare pod!)
1-2 tablespoons (14-28 grams) butter
Honey to taste
1 nectarine, sliced
¼ cup (35 grams) almonds, toasted and chopped
Custard. In a medium pot, whisk together the oat flour, milk and salt. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes until thickened. Remove the mixture from the heat and whisk in the egg, then return to low heat and cook for 2 minutes, whisking constantly. Add the butter and honey and whisk until incorporated. Taste for seasoning, adding a pinch more salt or more honey if desired.
Serve. The custard may be served warm or chilled. Divide the custard between bowls and top with the sliced nectarine, toasted almonds and additional honey.