Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Cleo Coyle’s Almond Milk Custard with Roasted Blueberries, #healthy #lowcalorie #dairyfree dessert from Once Upon a Grind

This quick and easy stovetop custard uses wholesome, nutritional ingredients. And even though this custard is a light and sweet dessert, it does not deliver empty calories. You'll find the super-food blueberries in our ingredient list, along with the nutrition of almond milk. 

Why almond milk? Here are 4 good reasons:

(1) Lower calories: Almond Breeze brand shelf-stable almond milk (pictured) is only 30 calories per cup vs. 90 calories per cup for skim milk. And many almond milks deliver as much (or more) calcium and vitamin D as dairy milk.

(2) Storage and convenience: Almond milk can be purchased in shelf-stable form and kept in the pantry for many months. 

(3) Flavor: Nut milks bring a delicate nutty flavor to the custard. And finally...

4) Dairy-free: For those with lactose intolerance or dietary restrictions, this custard will be a welcome dairy-free dessert...

Our Coffeehouse Mystery readers may recognize this delicious treat from our 14th entry ONCE UPON A GRIND (2014 hardcover), now a bestseller in paperback...

Take an enchanted visit to Central Park, enter a secret "Prince Charming" Club, attend a Fairy Tale Poetry Slam, and witness a hilarious "Meat-dieval" Tournament and Feast with our amateur sleuth Clare as she attempts to solve a perplexing murder mystery in a fairy-tale New York you'll never forget...

"Wicked good!" ~ Library Journal
"Fresh and fun" ~ Booklist
To learn more or buy, click here

"The proof really is in the pudding," NYPD Detective Mike Quinn tells Clare during the long night they spend together in Once Upon a Grind. Their evening is fraught with dangers and difficulties, even on the foodie front. Mike is disheartened to find Clare's kitchen cupboards as bare as Mother Hubbard’s.

But Clare has a knack for making the most from the least. This recipe for Almond Milk Custard with Roasted Blueberries is a good example. With a few meager ingredients, she guides Mike through the easy process of making this delicious homemade custard. Now we will happily guide you...

For a Free Recipe Guide to
Once Upon a Grind, click here
or on the image below... 
Click here for the
Free Recipe Guide.

To download a free PDF of our
Almond Milk Custard recipe
that you can print, save,
or share, click here.

Click for the Free Recipe PDF.

Cleo Coyle has a partner in
crime-writing—her husband.
Learn about their books
by clicking here and here.

Almond Milk Custard 
with Roasted Blueberries 

Recipe and Photos 
by Cleo Coyle

Sweet, smooth, and satisfying, this custard can be served warm on a cold night—or chilled for a refreshing summer dessert. The lemon zest and vanilla work together with the nut milk to give a light and lovely pound-cake flavor.

Roasted blueberries make an elegant addition to both warm and cold versions. Why roast them? Because it brings out a “blueberry pie” sweetness without adding sugar. The roasting also creates a softer, cooked texture, which works wonderfully with the sweet, silky custard. May you eat with (dairy-free) joy! ~ Cleo

Makes 4 servings (about 160 calories per serving, including blueberries)


4 tablespoons white, granulated sugar

3 tablespoons cornstarch

1/2 teaspoon lemon zest

Pinch of table salt

2 cups unsweetened almond milk (I use Almond Breeze Original
   shelf-stable, 30 calories per cup)

4 large egg yolks (keep whites for my Little Chocolate Clouds, click here)

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 cup blueberries fresh or frozen

(optional) Whipped cream (click here for non-dairy recipe)

Hardware: Medium-size saucepan, whisk, silicone spatula


Step 1—Mix the ingredients. First note that you are not cooking in this step. At the bottom of a medium sized saucepan (off the heat!), whisk together these dry ingredients: sugar, cornstarch, lemon zest, and salt. Slowly add the almond milk, whisking to prevent any lumps from forming. Set aside. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg yolks very well. Now whisk the egg yolks into the almond milk mixture in your saucepan. (Do not add the vanilla yet.)

Step 2—Cook the custard. Set your timer for 10 minutes, place your saucepan over medium-high heat, and SLOWLY STIR, using your silicone spatula. You must stir constantly as the mixture cooks or the eggs may cook unevenly and you’ll get little scrambled egg bits instead of smooth, delicious custard. As you cook, be sure to scrape down the sides of your saucepan. After the first 5 minutes of slow stirring, you’ll see the mixture thickening. Turn the heat down to medium and stir more quickly to prevent a rolling boil. You may need to turn the heat even lower to prevent this. You want the mixture to thicken up but not to completely evaporate so try to prevent a hard boil. Continue cooking for the full, final 5 minutes. 

Step 3—Add vanilla and finish: Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the vanilla...

This recipe makes just under 2 cups of custard. Divide the mixture up into 4 serving containers. If serving chilled, cover the tops of the containers with plastic wrap to prevent skin from forming. Chill until set, 1 to 2 hours, and serve with roasted blueberries. Whipped cream is a nice touch. For a diary-free whipped cream, use full fat coconut milk—click here for the recipe. 




Directions: Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and lightly coat with nonstick spray. Spread 1 cup of blueberries (fresh or frozen) and roast for 15 minutes. 

You’re watching for the blueberries to swell and for some to burst (that’s okay). Allow to cool completely before serving with the chilled custard. 



A special post for Mother's Day. Learn how to make Diary-Free Whipped Cream and beat breast cancer. Click here or on the image below for the recipe and story of inspiration...

Click here for the recipe. 



Below is a short video that will show you a great way to separate egg yolks from whites. This is also how I do it...

If you do not see the video above,
click here to view it on YouTube


This recipe calls for 4 egg yolks. You can store the egg whites in the fridge for a morning omelet. Or make my "Little Chocolate Clouds" recipe, which requires exactly 4 large egg whites. Perfect! To get the recipe now, click here or on the image below...

Waste not! Use your leftover egg whites to make
my Little Chocolate Clouds. Click here for the recipe. 

☕ ☕ ☕

Eat (and read) with joy! 

~ Cleo Coyle

New York Times bestselling author of
The Coffeehouse Mysteries 

Alice and Marc in Central Park. 
Together we write as Cleo Coyle. 

Learn more about us here.
Friend us on facebook here.
Follow us on twitter here.
Visit our online coffeehouse here.

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Find out by watching our fun,
new Book Video (below)
or view it on Facebook

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Our new Coffeehouse Mystery

is now a bestselling hardcover! 

Top 10 Best Mysteries 
for Book Clubs 2017

A "Most Wanted"
Mystery Guild Selection

To buy now, click links for... 


This culinary mystery includes
more than 25 delicious recipes!
To get the Free Recipe Guide, 


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The Coffeehouse Mysteries are bestselling
works of amateur sleuth fiction set in a landmark
Greenwich Village coffeehouse, and each of the
16 titles includes the added bonus of recipes. 


See mini plot summaries 
for every title and news on
 Cleo's next release!

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Marc and I also write
The Haunted Bookshop Mysteries

To get a free title checklist, 
with mini plot summaries, 

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books and meet Jack Shepard, 
our PI ghost...

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  1. What s great recipe, Cleo! I will use it for sure because I have a few dessert-loving friends with lactose issues!

    Hugs. MJ

    1. MJ - Lactose intolerance is a real challenge. My late mother struggled with it, and I know how hard it can be. Traces of dairy milk can be found in so many foods. (Seeing “milk derivatives” in the ingredients list of McDonald’s fries was certainly a surprise to me--I never knew until I took the time to look!) Thanks for stopping by the Kitchen today. I hope your friends enjoy the recipe!


      ~ Cleo Coffeehouse Mystery.com
      “Where coffee and crime are always brewing…”
      Cleo Coyle on Twitter

  2. I love this recipe as much as I love your books. Thank you for both I am a huge custard fan and almond milk is always in my pantry. Since I already adore the chocolate clouds, I am going to make both next time I crack some eggs!

    1. Thank you! Marc and I appreciate the nice words about our books. We love to write--and cook and eat! A happy combination that we're pleased to share with readers. Cheers for stopping by, and we hope you enjoy today's recipe!


      ~ Cleo Coffeehouse Mystery.com
      “Where coffee and crime are always brewing…”
      Cleo Coyle on Twitter

  3. Custard without milk, who knew? I am making this as soon as I get home. I already have the blueberries. Thank you Cleo for all the wonderful recipes in your books.

    1. Hi, Felice - I know what you mean about the custard since milk is the main ingredient. This is a nice alternative to milk for a lot of reasons--the flavor of the nut milk, for one, and the lower calories. The shelf-stable packaging also appeals to me. (The almond milk I just bought doesn't expire for over a year!) The custard is a winner for Marc and me, and we hope you enjoy it, too!


      ~ Cleo Coffeehouse Mystery.com
      “Where coffee and crime are always brewing…”
      Cleo Coyle on Twitter

  4. Brilliant and tasty as always!
    I can see those blueberries on French toast, waffles, pancakes,...

    1. Libby - Thank you kindly! For sure, those roasted blueberries are wonderful. So easy to make and that "blueberry pie" sweetness is indeed a treat on pancakes, waffles, even toast and oatmeal. Always a pleasure to see you in the Kitchen, Libby, have a delicious week!


      ~ Cleo Coffeehouse Mystery.com
      “Where coffee and crime are always brewing…”
      Cleo Coyle on Twitter

  5. A couple of technical questions for you. First, do you think I can use a carton of almond milk that says best used by July 2016? My husband bought it when he was having tummy issues but never got to it. I thought since it will be cooked it may be fine. Second, never mind! Duh. I was going to ask about carbs in the almond milk but read the carton to see for myself. I'm trying a low-carb diet to lose weight.

    1. Hi, Pat - Welcome back to the Kitchen! I'll start with your last question first. YES, happily almond milk is very low in carbs (1 gram per cup for **unsweetened** almond milk), much lower than skim milk (about 12 grams per cup). On the expiration date of almond milk, you'll want to observe that and not use it. (Sorry!) The product will not taste right, for one thing, it will likely seem sour. And the texture will go slimy on you. I'd hate for you to think the custard tasted bad when it was the expired almond milk--because cooking it **will not** restore the flavor or texture. (Again, sorry!)

      When you do open a new almond milk note that it should be kept in the fridge and should be used within 7 to 10 days after opening it. When the taste and texture goes, it should go in the trash, just like a milk that goes bad. And shake the container, too, to mix up any solids that may have settled in the storage.

      I hope that helps and good luck on the low-carb diet. Almond milk is certainly a low-carb ingredient to consider substituting for dairy milk.

      ~ Cleo Coffeehouse Mystery.com
      “Where coffee and crime are always brewing…”
      Cleo Coyle on Twitter

    2. Okay, thank you. Into the trash it goes!

    3. Sorry about that, Pat, but I'm glad you asked the question. Great question! xoxo - Cleo