These Lima Bean Lime Coconut Custards in ramekins are rich, rustic, and yes, unique. But please don’t let the uniqueness of this flavorful and gluten-free dessert keep you from trying it!
Only five ingredients make up this flavorful custard: baby lima beans, freshly squeezed lime juice, canned whole-fat coconut milk, sugar, and eggs. I used a generous half-pound of baby lima beans from Walmart and cooked them in the microwave until defrosted. I then transferred the defrosted lima beans with five or six tablespoons of their water to a food processor and pureed the beans until smooth. In a separate bowl, I then combined the processed lima beans, lime juice, coconut milk, sugar, and eggs. Finally, the custard mixture was divided evenly between four ramekins, and baked in a water bath for 30 minutes.
I tried these custards warm out of the oven, and then later cold. They were good warm, but I like them cold even more! How do these Lima Bean Lime Coconut Custards in ramekins taste? They remind me of the filling from coconut cream pie, combined with the filling from key lime pie, combined with what? Cheesecake? Hmmm…no, not really…the lima beans and coconut milk create a super rich custard that is as rich as cheesecake, but nothing like cheesecake. It’s difficult to talk about the taste of these custards without mentioning their texture. This dessert isn’t a light, smooth, and fluffy concoction, but instead is dense, rustic, and well, fibrous. No matter how long that you puree the baby lima beans, their outer skins, although soft, don’t break down, and, interestingly, the flecks of skins in the custard come across like coconut flakes, which is perfect with the flavoring from the coconut milk! The lime complements perfectly, adding a jazzy foil to the other rich ingredients.
I strongly recommend placing the ramekins in a water bath while baking. My intuition tells me that otherwise, the outer sides of the custard would dry out before the center is set. My guess is that this custard is better baked in individual ramekins instead of a single larger dish for the same reason. Here’s the recipe:
- 8 to 9 ounces frozen baby lima beans
- ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened whole fat canned coconut milk
- 2 ounces freshly squeezed lime juice
- 4 tablespoons sugar
- 2 large eggs
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
- Defrost baby lima beans in microwave
- Transfer defrosted lima beans and about 5 to 6 tablespoons of the water from the beans to a food processor and process until smooth, scraping sides once or twice. (Mixture will be thick)
- Transfer processed lima beans to medium bowl, and combine with remaining ingredients, stirring with a whisk until smooth.
- Divide mixture evenly between four ramekins.
- Place ramekins in baking pan placed on oven rack and pour enough water into baking pan to fill halfway up ramekins, being careful not to spill water into the ramekins themselves.
- Bake uncovered for 30 minutes.
- Remove ramekins from water bath and let cool.
- Refrigerate at least 5 hours or overnight before serving.
- Garnish with lime wedge, if desired.
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