IMPOSSIBLE CUSTARD CAKE – MAGIC

I have been making impossible pies, both savoury and sweet since I first came across them in the 70s. They appear to have had a resurgence of interest recently. The main difference is the egg whites are now separated, whipped separately and folded in to the well mixed yolk mix which creates a much softer custard layer.
This makes the recipe a more bit complicated and creates a lot of washing up but it takes the impossible pie to a new level. The custard actually separates, the cake layer is soft and fluffy and the base is a pastry like dense layer.
It works if the instructions are followed which includes having all the ingredients at room temperature.
Ensure the tray is small enough to get enough height for the custard layer to form. If necessary add some extra height with baking paper.
If making a savoury version you can double all the ingredients and use a well greased baking pan or casserole dish.
For the plain one I used a 20cm round pan but a long loaf pan or a square one that can be lined with a single piece of baking paper would have been better. The mixture is thin and it leaked under the paper. It was a bit tricky to take out the cake, peel off the paper and lower it back on to the custard layer.
Don’t use a spring form pan – the mixture is too runny and will leak.

IMPOSSIBLE MAGIC CUSTARD CAKE

Ingredients

CAKE

Assemble and prepare all ingredients and have them at the right temperature before starting.

  • 4 eggs, separated – room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups caster sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbs water
  • 125g butter, melted but not hot
  • 3/4 cup plain flour
  • 2 cups full cream milk, luke warmMethod

CAKE

This is done in a stand mixer. Be prepared to put the stiffened egg whites into another bowl while the egg yolk mixture is made.

  1. Preheat oven to 160°C (140°C fan forced).
  2. Line a 20cm square cake tin (go smaller rather than larger) or a long loaf tin with a single piece of baking paper. It needs to be about 5cm deep so leave extra paper above the rim if necessary.
  3. Whip the egg whites until stiff peaks form using the whisk blade. Set aside in a separate bowl.
  4. Change to the mixer blade and add egg yolks, sugar, vanilla and water to the bowl. Beat at a medium speed for 5 minutes (use a timer), the mixture should be pale and fluffy.
  5. Gradually add in room temperature melted butter until combined
  6. Reduce the speed and add the flour, mixing until combined then add the milk.
  7. Gently mix in egg whites with a large spoon or the whisk attachment for the mixer – don’t overmix, there still need to be small lumps of egg white
  8. Pour mixture into prepared tin.
  9. Cook for 1 hour and turn off the oven heat leaving only the fan going for another 30 minutes. It should be pale gold and a bit wobbly. Leave to cool and set before serving.
  10. Remove cake by lifting the baking paper out of the tin.

TOPPING

  1. Dust with icing sugar and top with fresh strawberries

VARIATIONS

LEMON IMPOSSIBLE CUSTARD CAKE

Really nice.

Lemon cake

Lemon cake

Make as above – substitute 1/4 cup of the milk for 1/4 cup of lemon juice. Add zest of one lemon just before stirring in the egg whites.

 

CHOCOLATE IMPOSSIBLE CUSTARD CAKE

Substitute 1/2 the flour for regular cocoa powder.

VEGETABLE IMPOSSIBLE CUSTARD PIE

This will turn into a custard based vegetable pie

This will turn into a custard based vegetable pie

This is like the impossible pie from the 70s but is really much nicer.

Ingredients

Assemble and prepare all ingredients and have them at the right temperature before starting. This is great if doubled, keeps well and slices make an easy breakfast. The almond flour gives it a less “cakey” texture.

  • 4 eggs, separated – room temperature
  • 2 cups assorted vegetables – not wet vegetables –  potato, kale, sweet potato, carrot, dried tomatoes, cooked and well squeezed spinach
  • 1/2 cup feta, parmesan or cheddar cheese
  • Optional – spring onions, parsley, chives, whatever is available
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Pepper to taste
  • 1 tbs water
  • 125g butter, melted and cooled to room temperature
  • 3/4 almond flour
  • 2 cups full cream milk, luke warm

Method

This is done in a stand mixer. Be prepared to put the stiffened egg whites into another bowl while the egg yolk mixture is made.

  1. Turn on the oven to heat to 160°C (140°C fan forced) and put the pre steamed vegetables in a well greased dish into the oven to continue cooking, dry out and warm up. (liquid in the vegetables will result in a squishy bottom of the pie)
  2. You will need a 20cm square casserole dish or something approximately the same round or rectangular. It needs to be about 5cm deep. For double mixture just use a bigger dish.
  3. Whip the egg whites until stiff peaks form using the whisk blade. Set aside in a separate bowl.
  4. Change to the mixer blade and add egg yolks, and water to the bowl. Beat at a medium speed for 5 minutes (use a timer), the mixture should be pale and fluffy.
  5. Gradually add in room temperature melted butter until combined
  6. Reduce the speed and add the flour, salt and pepper mixing until combined then add the milk and any herbs.
  7. Gently mix in egg whites with a large spoon or the whisk attachment for the mixer – don’t overmix, there still need to be small lumps of egg white
  8. Remove the dish from the oven and add the feta and cheese if using. Add salt and pepper, stir and taste.
  9. Pour the egg mixture into dish with the vegetables and stir lightly.
  10. Cook for 1 hour and turn off the oven heat leaving only the fan going for another 30 minutes. If using double mix it will need a fair amount of extra time and may need to be covered to stop the top overcooking if the centre is too wobbly.  It should be pale gold and a bit wobbly. Leave to cool and set before serving.
  11. Store in the fridge and reheat slices as necessary.
Pre cook the vegetables in th microwave then put into the casserole dish in the oven to finish cooking and dry out. This is double quantity.

Pre cook the vegetables in the microwave then put into the casserole dish in the oven to finish cooking and dry out. This is double quantity.

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