milk & cookie brulee pie

June 20, 2012

Milk and cookies. Cookies and milk.

It’s never really been a winning combination for me, mainly because the consumption of large quantities of milk tends to result in me either:

a) breaking out in bouts of eczema (ages 2-11), or

b) curling up in a ball due to crippling stomach cramps (ages… well, always).

Problem is, I really like milk. And I really like cookies.

And, as the ever-patient Koji will tell you, I have a really short memory when it comes to food that makes me unwell.

Especially when it comes to crème brûlée for dessert, followed by crippling stomach cramps for post-dessert. Or three cheeses for breakfast, followed by a full day’s worth of stomach gurgles. Or… yes.

All of which potentially makes my last post (featuring me! Drinking milk! Out of a tiny little glass bottle!) a little confusing.

(And no, I didn’t have to sacrifice my innards for the shot or fake the milk drinking entirely and pour good dairy down the sink.)

You see, a couple of weeks ago I was gifted some absolutely gorgeous milk by Harris Farm Markets.

Gorgeous because of the flavour and texture and utter drinkability of it (even for me, because of its low A1 protein levels) and gorgeous because of the way it’s been produced and sold.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve been following the news about Australian milk wars pretty closely. The initial drop by Coles of its milk prices to $1 per litre and the follow on effect that has increased the strain on dairy farmers all over Australia as cheap, supermarket-subsidised, generically branded milk is promoted over products which more accurately reflect the cost of production.

Rather than buy into the “cheap milk is best” mentality that has been propagated by the major grocery retailers, Harris Farm Markets decided to look in the opposite direction and throw the question of the value of milk back to the guys making it. In this case, John & Lia Christensen who produce jersey milk from a single herd of pure bred jersey cows in the lush (and pesticide free) New England Ranges. So when it came time to set a price paid to John and Lia, the Harris’ asked how much the Christensens needed to maintain the same levels of production.

Turns out, that amount was a touch higher than the normal amount paid for milk. Turns out the Harris’ agreed to pay it anyway.

(And, as an added bonus to the Christensens, any discounts on the milk in store are borne by Harris Farm Markets and not passed on to the primary producers).

So here was my (very first world) dilemma.

Five litres of milk in the fridge and two weeks of no-one but the Bean and I raiding the fridge for sustenance.

Five litres of milk, a vaguely lactose averse consumer and a never-present Bean.

One of those litres of milk constituted reduced fat milk that was promptly served to anyone who graced our doors seeking milk of that description.

Two of those litres of milk constituted a carton of unhomogonised, creamy-golden-pale, streams of milk fat endowed liquid gold that I drank a cautious glass of and (when no ill effects emerged) went to town with.

They had dark double chocolate chip cookies dunked into them.

They accompanied thick slices of chocolate birthday cake and slightly thinner slices of chocolate stout housewarming cake (adorned with a lighter than air peanut butter frosting).

They were mixed with heaped spoonfuls of Milo and nursed whilst snuggled in a polar fleece blanket.

I (rather selfishly) put a “Do Not Eat” sign on the carton.

The two litres of regular full fat milk was left to the masses.

Stirred into creamy polenta.

Poured liberally over crunchy fruit-and-nut-speckled granola.

Tipped haphazardly over bowls of oatmeal on cold Winter mornings.

And suddenly there was but one litre left and an urge to create a recipe that showcased the milk’s, well, milkiness!

Which, in the end, led me to this. Cookies and milk. Burnt sugar on top.

“This is,” said the Bean in between mouthfuls hastily eaten while others sat unassumingly in the next room “maybe too good to share”.

“What are you eating?” said Mr Sheppardoo, suddenly suspicious at the lack of noise emanating from her.

“Nothing! I’ll get you a cookie!” and then, with a cheeky wink, “Shhh! He doesn’t need to know about this one.”

milk & cookie brûlée pie

So, I didn’t have that much milk left and only made four little tartlet sized pies (8cm top diameter) and a couple of pies-in-a-glass with this recipe. You could double it and fill out a regular loose bottomed flan tin easily instead. I added milk powder to the recipe to help thicken the filling up a bit and to boost the milky flavour.

you will need:

22 choc ripple biscuits (200g cookies)
50g melted butter
500ml milk
2 eggs
1/3C sugar
2 tbsp corn flour
2 tbsp milk powder
additional 1/2C sugar

how to do it:

1. Pulverise the chocolate biscuits in a food processor until they are reduced to crumbs. Add the melted butter and pulse until it looks like chocolatey sand.

2. Press the mixture into the base and up the sides of four tartlet tins with removable bases (or cupcake lined muffin tins would work too!) and pop them in the fridge to cool.

3. Heat the milk  up in a small saucepan until it starts to steam. Do not let the milk boil.

4. Lightly beat the eggs and sugar together until they are yellow and creamy. Add the corn flour and milk powder and stir until it is consistent in texture and there are no lumps.

5. Pour the hot milk into the egg mixture in a thin stream, stirring rapidly. Tip the whole mixture back into the saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens to a gloopy custard (this will happen quite rapidly).

6. Ladle the custard into the pre-prepared tartlet tins and pop into the fridge to cool and set.

7. To finish, sprinkle a heaping tablespoon or so over the top of each pie and flame with a butane torch to form a crunchy brûléed caramel crust.


A note: I was given the milk (for free and without obligation) by Harris Farm Markets. I was not paid to write this post and am not propagating any views other than those held personally as a result of my research and experience. Sometimes a girl just likes stuff yeah?

To check out more pies from this month’s Sweet Adventures Blog Hop (hosted by Nic of the Kitchen Crusader) click on the below linky tool 🙂