Click to see a close-up

2 cups heavy cream
4 egg yolks
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons granular Splenda or equivalent liquid Splenda (see update below)
Pinch salt
1 teaspoon vanilla

Heat the cream just to a simmer; cool slightly (I microwaved the cream in a 2-cup measuring cup just until it was hot but not boiling). In a medium bowl, whisk the remaining ingredients together and gradually whisk in the cream. Pour into four 6-ounce custard cups and place them in an 8x8" baking pan. Pour cold water into the baking pan until it comes about half way up the sides of the custard cups. Bake at 350º 25-30 minutes or until a knife inserted into center comes out clean. Mine took 40 minutes but you may want to start checking it sooner. The tops will get a little browned. Chill 1 hour. Prepare the topping and sprinkle over each cup. Chill at least 4 hours before serving.

Makes 4 servings

1 tablespoon butter
1/2 ounce sliced almonds, 3 tablespoons
2 teaspoons granular Splenda or equivalent liquid Splenda

In a small saucepan or skillet melt the butter over low heat. Stir in the nuts and Splenda. Cook and stir constantly just until the almonds begin to brown. Remove from the heat immediately to keep the nuts from getting too brown.

With granular Splenda:
Per Serving: 527 Calories; 53g Fat; 6g Protein; 8g Carbohydrate; trace Dietary Fiber; 8g Net Carbs

With liquid Splenda:
Per Serving: 514 Calories; 53g Fat; 6g Protein; 4.5g Carbohydrate; trace Dietary Fiber; 4.5g Net Carbs

This has to be one of the most delicious low carb desserts I've ever eaten! I love the consistency of it. It's very creamy and not at all gelatin-like like Panna Cotta or regular baked custard made with whole eggs. The consistency is more like a soft pudding. The topping made it extra special but the custard would be very nice plain as well. I based this on Roni's Butter-Pecan Crème Brûlée. I didn't have pecans on hand so I used sliced almonds. I also increased the amount of sweetener and vanilla and I'm glad that I did. Roni's recipe only called for the equivalent of 2 tablespoons of sugar. The raw mixture tasted almost too sweet but that diminished as it chilled to the point where it hardly tastes sweet at all. Click the photo to see a close-up.

I also got to try out a gadget that I'd gotten for Christmas and forgotten about. It's called The Ove Glove and it worked great for removing the hot custard cups from the water bath.

UPDATE: I finally got around to trying this with pecans instead of almonds today but I won't get to taste it until tomorrow. I will report back after I've tried it but I'm sure it's going to be great. I also made a few other changes this time. I increased the sweetener to the equivalent of 3/4 cup of sugar because I thought it could be a bit sweeter. I also made the topping while the custard was baking and put it on right after it came out of the oven. I'm not sure why Roni suggested waiting until after the custard had chilled. It didn't make any difference that I could see. Since I made this the last time, I got a tip from America's Test Kitchen. They said that you can tell that a custard is done when an instant read thermometer registers 170º. I found that it reached that temperature after baking about 30 minutes so the original time given is pretty much right on the mark. Of course that would depend on your oven and how hot the mixture was going into the oven. I will find out for sure how the consistency is when I try it tomorrow. Here are the counts for the pecan version with the extra sweetener:


With granular Splenda:
Per Serving: 537 Calories; 54g Fat; 5g Protein; 9g Carbohydrate; trace Dietary Fiber; 9g Net Carbs

With liquid Splenda:
Per Serving: 519 Calories; 54g Fat; 5g Protein; 4g Carbohydrate; trace Dietary Fiber; 4g Net Carbs

UPDATE: The Butter-Pecan version is delicious. It's at least as yummy as the almond version.

UPDATE 1/30/2011: I've changed the sweetener amount again to 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons. I thought that 3/4 cup was a little too sweet but new new amount is just right.

UPDATE 7/17/12: I had a problem with my custard this time and I'm not sure what was the cause. The consistency came out almost like cheesecake. It was sort of dry and not creamy like it usually is. I splurged and used a bottle of Trader Joe's heavy cream, which isn't ultra-pasteurized. It did seem a lot thicker than the Walmart cream that I normally use but that shouldn't cause a problem since people have been making this kind of custard for years and years using other brands of heavy cream. The only other thing I did differently was that I put in an extra yolk for a total of 5. I've used that many yolks before though and it came out wonderful so I can only guess that it was the cream that was the culprit or a combination of the two things. I did bake it to exactly 170 degrees so that wasn't the issue.

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