I really enjoy milk. While shopping today at the store I began to consider the flavors of milk, the varieties and derivatives and what we could do with them. I started adding ingredients to our cart and was finally stopped by Aki, who asked "What the heck are you doing?" I responded as though we had had several conversations on the subject, although we had not, "I am working on a milk dessert."
What was even more bewildering and thrilling was that she did not skip a beat as she immediately started gathering more milk ingredients and adding them to my growing pile. When you start down the path of being inspired by milk a thousand doors begin to open. We now have a good, though not extensive, milk stockpile with which I will begin culling through ideas and approaches.
I have to say that I was immediately intrigued by Alex's inspiration. One of my favorite pies was a milk pie, set with gelatin in a flaky crust. It was sweet and clean tasting with that indefinable "milk" flavor. I only made it once but I always think of it when I think of great desserts. As a child I never liked drinking milk, unless it was chocolate skim, although Fujiya Milky candy was one of my all time favorites. It was a white chewy candy that acted like a caramel and tasted like sweet milk. One of the first desserts I taught myself to make at home was a Southern cornstarch pudding. I never used vanilla and so the flavor profile there was also primarily of milk and sugar. With these taste memories it was easy to imagine an entire dessert based on that memorable flavor and a variety of temperatures and textures. To Alex's list of elements to consider I would add: