Saffron, Saffron, Saffron. Oh, how I love thee! What other spice can you have in your dinner and your dessert?! Okay, well I guess there are a lot of others, but no one does it quite like saffron! Maybe it’s because it’s $315 per ounce, maybe it’s because it takes 75,000 flowers to make one pound of saffron. At any rate it’s an unmistakeable flavor that is hard to even describe. It’s one of those things that you have to taste for yourself. The great thing is, a pinch goes a long way!
2 cups heavy cream
pinch of saffron
1/4 cup sugar + 2 tbsp
3 egg yolks
1/4 cup mango puree
Heat the cream and saffron over medium high just till it boils, then remove from the heat. Beat the egg yolks and 1/4 cup sugar till light yellow and thick. Add the mango while beating, then stir in the cream and saffron mixture. Divide into 4 small dishes. Bake in a water bath (place the dishes in a baking pan and pour boiling water in the pan to surround the dishes and reach halfway up the sides) at 325 degrees for 35 minutes. They should be firm, but still jiggle a bit when nudged. Remove from the oven, and water bath, and allow to cool to room temperature, then chill in the refrigerator. Once chilled, spoon the remaining sugar, evenly over the tops of the custard. Using a kitchen torch, caramelize the sugar on top till golden brown.
If you don’t have a kitchen torch, turn your oven to broil and move the rack towards the top. Make sure the custards are very cold. (I transferred mine to the freezer for a few minutes, just to make sure they were super cold) Place the custard dishes in a roasting pan filled with cold ice water, reaching up the sides of the dishes. Broil on the top rack till sugar turns golden brown. Keep a watchful eye so they don’t burn! Immediately remove from the oven and the ice bath. Serve!