Eggplant Custard

Crème d’Aubergines à la Provençale

Preparation info

  • Servings:


    • Difficulty


Appears in

Simple French Food

By Richard Olney

Published 1974

  • About


  • 10 ounces mushrooms, passed through medium blade of Mouli-juliènne
  • Salt, pepper
  • Olive oil (for mushrooms, tomatoes, eggplant)
  • ½ lemon
  • 2 large, firm, ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded, coarsely chopped (or equivalent of drained canned tomatoes)
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed, peeled, finely chopped
  • pounds eggplant
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • About teaspoon powdered saffron dissolved in a couple of tablespoons boiling water


    Sauté the mushrooms, seasoned, in a couple of tablespoons olive oil the moment they have been juliènned, over a high flame until their liquid is evaporated. Squeeze in a few drops of lemon juice.

    Stew the tomatoes, seasoned, in 2 tablespoons olive oil until nearly dry, stirring in the garlic a minute before removing from the heat.

    Cut the eggplant into slices of from ⅓ to ½ inch thick and put immediately to cook in a skillet or omelet pan containing a depth of about ½ inch olive oil. When golden on both sides and tender, remove to drain on absorbent toweling, sprinkle with salt and pepper.

    Spread the mushrooms in the bottom of an oiled gratin dish, arrange half of the eggplant slices on this bed, spread them with the stewed tomato mixture, and arrange the remaining eggplant slices on top. Beat the eggs with a whisk, whisk in the milk, salting lightly, then the dissolved saffron, and pour over the vegetables, lifting them gently here and there around the sides with a fork, permitting the liquid to penetrate evenly. Bake for about 30 minutes in a medium (375°) oven or until the custard has only just set in the center.