Saffron Pot-de-Crème

William Dissen

The Market Place Restaurant & Lounge, Asheville, NC; Billy D's Fried Chicken, Asheboro, NC; and Haymaker, Charlotte, NC

William Dissen serves these vibrant yellow custards with blackberry preserves, a basil macaron, and borage flowers. Home cooks can use store-bought preserves and garnish with a basil leaf for an extra flourish. 


  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon saffron
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice


Preheat the oven to 325ºF.

In a medium pot, combine the cream, sugar, and saffron. Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium-high heat. Turn off the heat, cover the pot, and let the mixture steep for 20 minutes.

Fill a tea kettle with water and bring to a boil. Reserve. 

In a medium bowl, whisk together the yolks. While constantly whisking, gradually pour the hot cream mixture into the eggs. Whisk in the lemon juice.

Strain the custard through a fine sieve. Divide the mixture among four 4-ounce ramekins. Place the ramekins in a large roasting pan. Add boiling water from the tea kettle to the pan until it reaches halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Cover the entire roasting pan with foil. 

Bake the custards until just set, about 30 to 40 minutes. The custards should jiggle when gently shaken.

Remove the roasting pan from the oven and let the custards cool to room temperature in the water bath.

Refrigerate the pots-de-crème for at least 4 hours or overnight. Serve chilled.


4 servings