Orange and Avocado Natilla (Mexican Custard Pudding)
A dearly loved and very light and thin custard style dessert from Mexico, natilla is a welcome sweet ending to a meal. In this recipe, the natilla is infused with reduced orange juice and gets extra creamy and nutty with the addition of avocado. Cacao nibs as a garnish round it out in a beautiful and balanced way.
Pour the orange juice into a medium saucepan and place over medium heat. Add the sugar, stir and, once it comes to a gentle simmer, 4 to 5 minutes later, cook for 5 minutes. Let cool.
In another saucepan, pour in the milk and place over medium-low heat. Once it comes to a simmer, remove from the heat.
In a medium bowl, beat together the cream, cornstarch, egg yolks and salt until thoroughly combined. Gently pour the warm milk in a thin stream into the egg yolk mixture, beating well with a whisk or fork. Once mixed, pour the orange mixture into egg yolk-milk mixture in a thin stream, whisking as you do. Return the entire mixture to a saucepan and place over medium-low heat, bring to a gentle simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until it coats the back of a wooden spoon, about 15 minutes. Remove from the heat. Mix in the avocado, whisking thoroughly with a whisk or fork until thoroughly combined. Strain the mixture, using a fine strainer, onto a bowl.
Chill the mixture by placing the bowl over an ice bath. Cover the natilla with plastic wrap placed directly onto the custard so it will not create a film. Place in the refrigerator and let completely chill. Serve by spooning the natilla into bowls and garnish with cacao nibs.