Custard’s Last Stand

Custard's Last Stand

Custard is one of the simple joys in life.  A few basic ingredients and a bit of stove-top tending are all that’s required.

By the way, I generally don’t snap fridge photos because:  1)  the lighting isn’t the greatest and 2) it gets a lil’ crowded in there. :)

But, what’s a girl to do with a camera in one hand and a spoon in the other?

I also tend to favor the bain marie method “ala oven” because it never fails; however, my new double boiler was begging to be used.

Custard in progress

Plus, it employs some of my favorite cooking utensils…

Some of my favorite utensils

Grandma M’s measuring cups and spoon.  A microplane from my sister.  An apron made out of fabric that once belonged to my Grandma (sewn by my sister.)  Ramekins from Mom.  Memories of eating custard with Grandma S…

Some may beg to differ re: memories being a ‘utensil,’ but in my kitchen they’re an essential tool.

I love being surrounded by the women in my family while I cook.

Homemade Custard

Recipe credit goes to Christopher Kimball & “The Yellow Farmhouse Cookbook” (another gift from my sister); method adapted by me.

2 c. whole milk

1 c. heavy cream

2 egg yolks

3 whole eggs

1/2 c. sugar

1/8 tsp. salt

1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

Freshly grated nutmeg

Butter 8 individual ramekins or a 2 quart baking dish; set aside.

Bring water to a boil in the bottom of a double boiler; reduce heat to a simmer.  Keep water at a simmer from here on out and make sure the water level in the bottom pan doesn’t touch the bottom of the top pan.  (I hope that made sense.)

Add milk and cream to the top of the double boiler; heat over simmering water until bubbles form around the edge, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, whisk together the yolks and eggs in a bowl.  Stir in sugar, salt, and vanilla.

Whisk egg mixture into hot milk/cream until combined.

Cook over simmering water, stirring constantly, until custard coats the back of the spoon.  This process requires standing in front of your stove for approximately 20 to 25 minutes and I cannot emphasize the two “s’s” enough — simmer and stir — or you’ll end up with a third “s”… scrambled eggs.

Pour custard into individual ramekins or a 2 quart dish.

Grate nutmeg over the top.

Refrigerate and wait patiently until set.

Alternatively, stir together the hot milk/cream and egg mixture.

Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into buttered ramekins or baking dish and place them in a bain marie (i.e. larger baking dish filled with boiling water half-way up the custard dishes.)

Bake at 325° for 15 to 20 minutes (ramekins) or 40 to 50 minutes (baking dish) until custard is set.  Cool, then refrigerate.

Custard 1

Although I’ll probably revert to the reliable oven-baked method for future custard-making adventures, it felt rather nostalgic doing it the ol’ fashioned way again.

Custard’s Last Stand, so to speak…

Who’s in your kitchen with you while you cook?

Enjoying memories and simple joys,

~ Kimby

32 thoughts on “Custard’s Last Stand

  1. Kim…I so love how everything you’re using, well, most everything, takes you back to someone you loved…those are rockin’ cool measuring cups, and I’ll like to put my dibs on ’em in your will!! Nothin’ sweeter than creamy custard, lickin’ the spoon and then the ramekin clean!! xo

  2. My hubby would love to come home to your custards. My furry friend is always underfoot while I’m cooking, but, like you, I have many mementos from my mom and sisters in bowls, knives, dish towels, etc. I need to stop and treasure those gifts as I bake :)

    • Liz, it made me SO happy to think that you’ll look at your kitchen treasures from that perspective from now on. No disrespect intended, but was the furry friend you referred to your beloved hubby or a beloved pet? I suspect the latter. ;) Thanks for stopping by the lake!

  3. Custard is one of the simplest and most delicious pleasures. I don’t think I have ever made one at home though. Must try. Also, your measuring cups look just like my Nannie’s did :)

    • Elizabeth, what a delight to hear that! Most of my cooking & baking utensils were from Grandma (or antique shops) and I love using them. Let me know if you try the custard!

    • Thank you, Kambrook! If you haven’t made a “stove-top” version before (they’re kind of finicky), go with the oven-baked bain marie method. Let me know how it turns out if you try it! Thanks for stopping by the lake. :)

  4. Kim, this custard is making me crave for it! I love old utensils…these have many stories to tell and somehow, these give us confidence that the food cooked in these WILL turn out great! Lovely post, as always!!

    • Purabi, I hadn’t thought about the confidence factor before, but you’re right… there’s something about using tried & true cooking utensils. All the previous meals they’ve churned out, successfully and deliciously, impart a sense of “being able” (with love!) Thank you!

  5. Hi Kim! I love the antique measuring cups! Great photo shooting props. ;) Your custards look delicious! My husband loves custards and he would even eat it for breakfast (if kids are not around!). :)

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