Sunday, November 27, 2011

Gingerbread Pita Chips w/ Creme Anglaise Dip

Again this week, I am continuing my quest for appetizers that are unique, with an easy serving style. I think this appetizer may fit the bill. I came upon these Gingerbread Pita Chips at Sam's Club about a month ago. I wasn't sure what to do with them, but I knew they would be good. First of all, I love the other Stacy's Pita Chips I have had. Second, I have a life long love of gingerbread. Therefore, a combo for a fantastic appetizer!  When I tried the chips, I was in heaven. They have a strong gingerbread flavor, and the texture of the chip is thicker than most chips, making them perfect for holding a dip. So, what kind of dip? I actually thought about this for some time. I mentally went through all the dips and sauces I could remember making in my life. The problem was that the gingerbread chips needed a dip that equaled it in flavor, but was contrasting. When you bite into the gingerbread chip the flavor is full. Every taste bud you have is busy with the gingerbread. I thought about a Creme Anglaise I used to make at a restaurant I worked in. This custard sauce is usually used for saucing cakes, and other desserts, and it has a rich, full flavor. So, I made some Creme Anglaise, and added cream cheese to make it thick. I think we have a winner!
Let me know what you think!

Gingerbread Pita Chips w/ Creme Anglaise Dip
1 bag Stacy's Pita Chips
2 cups Half and Half
1 teaspoon Vanilla Bean Paste
1/2 cup Sugar
4 large Egg Yolks (at room temperature)
8oz. Cream Cheese
Sprinkle of Cinnamon
Place your half and half in a saucepan, over medium low heat.
 Add vanilla bean paste. Simmer the two together
until small bubbles show up  around the edges.
Set up a water bath. Place a bowl in another bowl or 
shallow dish. Fill the dish with cold water. Let it sit.
In another separate bowl,  whisk your egg yolks and...
sugar until combined. 
Now we will temper the eggs. While you are whisking,
add about 1/2 cup of  the hot cream and vanilla mixture
to the eggs. Whisk until they are fully incorporated
into the egg mixture.
Do this several times until about 1/2 of the milk and 
vanilla bean mix has been mixed into the eggs.
Some recipes will tell you to add 1/2 of the mix at
one time, but I think it is better to mix a little at a time.
You are trying to get the eggs used to the heat, but not
cook themselves in the process.
Pour the egg mixture into the saucepan with the rest of
the milk and vanilla bean mix. Now it is all in one pan!
Stirring with a wooden spoon, cook the mix without boiling,
until it becomes thick, about 5 minutes. 
How will you know when it is thick enough?
The custard should coat the back of a wooden spoon....
and leave a distinct line if you run your finger through it.
Remember the water bath we set up earlier?
Pour the custard into the bowl that is sitting in the bowl with water.
This will immediately stop the cooking of the custard.
Not very good pictures from here on out. I apologize!
Put the custard in the refrigerator until it has completely cooled.
I set mine in there over night.
The next day bring the cream cheese to room temperature.
Mix it into the custard until smooth and creamy!
Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Sprinkle the top with cinnamon!
Serve this dip cold from the refrigerator. 

Thanks for joining The Freshman Cook today!


  1. I've seen these chips at the store too--they sound so good! I love the idea of pairing them with this dip.

  2. They easily stand up to any of the traditional fried chips I've ever had, and at half the fat and calories, how could you ask for anything more?