When we were working on the menu for our tea party, we thought that a custard would be a nice way to break up the scone/shortbread/cake treats. We wanted something smooth and creamy – and of course, it had to be made with tea!

The first thing we did was open up my tea drawer (yes I have a tea drawer) and started going through our options. We wanted to use as many different teas as possible, so we immediately ruled out the ones we had already reserved for our other recipes. We were left with some great possibilities, but the winner was Darjeeling.

This takes a while to cook, but it is oh so worth it! The results were delightful. What was intended to be just something to break up the menu and offer something different, turned into one of the stars of the show. We paired the Pots de Creme with an almond lace cookie (which we adapted from this one) and fresh blackberries, can you say YUM! The flavor of the custard takes on almost a caramel-coffee taste, which is so hard to explain that you will just have to try it for yourself and then tell us how you would put it into words!

P.S. Did we mention it’s gluten free?!

Darjeeling Pots de Creme
Recipe type: Custard
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Yields: 6
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 4 tablespoons Darjeeling tea leaves
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  1. Heat oven to 300°F and set rack to the center position in the oven.
  2. Bring 4 cups of water to a simmer over medium heat and arrange 6 (6 ounce) ramekins ½ inch apart in a large baking dish; set aside.
  3. Place cream in a small saucepan over medium heat and bring it to just a simmer. Remove from heat and add tea leaves, allowing to steep for about 5 minutes.
  4. Strain tea leaves from cream and discard, Set aside the strained cream.
  5. Whisk together sugar, egg yolks, vanilla, and salt in a large mixing bowl until thickened and pale in color, about 2 minutes.
  6. Slowly whisk in ⅓ of the cream mixture, then add the remainder while constantly stirring (trying not to incorporate any air/bubbles.
  7. Place a fine mesh strainer over a large measuring cup of a bowl with a pouring spout and slowly pour custard through strainer.
  8. Skim off any foam that may have developed on the top of the custard.
  9. Evenly divide custard into prepared ramekins. Tap each ramekin a few times to bring any air bubbles to the surface - allowing them to break.
  10. Place baking dish in the oven and carefully add enough of the warm water to reach 1 inch up the sides of the ramekins. Cover dish with aluminum foil and poke several holes in the foil to allow steam to escape while baking.
  11. Bake for approximately one hour, or until the outer inch of each custard is set (centers will still be jiggly).
  12. Remove the ramekins to a rack and let cool to room temperature, about 1 hour. Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate for up to 4 days. If refrigerated, remove from fridge and allow them to come to room temperature (about 20 minutes) before serving.