Coffee Custard Serves 6
"This dessert was inspired by my grandfather's morning ritual of making coffee," says Lunsford. "He farmed in middle Tennessee and would rise well before the sun. He began his day by making coffee in an enormous percolator coffee pot that sat on the back burner of the stove all morning. As the morning went on, the coffee became darker and thicker, resembling tar rather than coffee. The dark, high-octane coffee never seemed to bother him, so my brother and I followed suit, not knowing until years later that not everybody prepared coffee that way."

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 30 minutes

4 cups black coffee
2 cups heavy cream
8 egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
Chocolate covered espresso beans for garnish

1. Preheat oven to 300°F. Pour coffee into a medium-size saucepan and simmer over medium heat until reduced to one cup. Remove from heat and whisk in the heavy cream. Set aside; cool to room temperature.

2. In a mixing bowl, whisk egg yolks and sugar to ribbon stage. Whisk coffee mixture into egg mixture and refrigerate until cool. Skim off any surface air bubbles that appear.

3. Pour the custard into six 5-ounce oven-proof ramekins and place them in an oven-proof pan. Fill the pan with enough warm water so that it comes halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Cover the pan with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes. Check to see if the custard has set by gently shaking the ramekins; they should be set around the edges, but jiggle in the middle. Remove from oven; refrigerate overnight.

4. To serve, place each ramekin in the middle of a dessert plate and garnish with chocolate-covered espresso beans.