Years ago Rachel Klein worked in a fish store in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn, that sold a smoked salmon-Parmesan quiche. The combination was clunky; Klein refines it for this silky custard, which she bakes in elegant egg cups, instead of a quiche crust, and tops with gravlax and peppery arugula.
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1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/8 teaspoon salt
Pinch of white pepper
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
2 ounces thinly sliced gravlax, cut into 2-by-1/2-inch strips
1/4 cup julienned arugula
How to Make It
In a small saucepan, combine the cream with the milk, cheese, salt and pepper and cook over moderately high heat until bubbles appear around the edge. Remove from the heat, cover the pan and let the cream steep for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 250°. Pour the cream into a measuring cup and slowly whisk in the egg and yolk. Pour the custard into twelve 1-ounce ovenproof egg cups.
Set the cups in a roasting pan. Pour enough boiling water into the pan to reach halfway up the sides of the cups. Transfer the pan to the oven and bake the custards for 1 hour, or until set. Remove the pan from the oven and let the custards cool in the water bath for 5 minutes. Remove the custards from the pan. Top them with gravlax and arugula and serve warm.
The custards can be baked up to 4 hours ahead. Reheat in a water bath until heated through.
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