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

Crumb Cake

Recipes are like old friends.

You smile at the thought of them,

Anticipate the pleasure of their company,

Enjoy spending time with them.

And… favorite recipes become family.

~   ~    ~    ~    ~

Crumb Cake has been in my repertoire longer than I can remember.  The notation on it (written by my Mom) says:  “This was Mom’s recipe and my favorite cake.”  (In reference to my Grandma!)

I make it for my Mom’s birthday every year , or every time we go to Minnesota — whichever comes first.

The only embellishments required are a plate, a fork, a napkin, and a cup of coffee.  (And birthday candles now and then!)

Crumb Cake

1-1/2 cups flour

1 cup sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup butter

1 egg

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

3/4 cup sour milk (or scant 3/4 cup milk mixed with 1/2 Tbsp. lemon juice)

Preheat oven to 350°.  Lightly grease a 9″ square baking dish.

In a large bowl, mix together flour, sugar, cinnamon and salt.

Cut in butter with a knife or pastry blender until crumbly.  Reserve a 1/2 cup of this mixture for the cake topping; set aside.

To remaining mixture, add the egg, baking soda and sour milk.  Mix well.  Spread batter in prepared pan.  Sprinkle reserved crumbs over top of cake.

Bake 30 to 35 minutes, or until a pick inserted in center comes out clean.

Cool slightly on a wire rack.  Serve warm.

Enjoying good ol’ family recipes,

~ Kim

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Jam Session Parfait (My Guest Post with Chef Dennis)

Happy Friday, everybody!  Actually, it is a happy Friday… Chef Dennis invited me to do a guest post!  Words like honored, thrilled, and humbled come to mind…

Who is Chef Dennis, you may ask?  If you haven’t met this gentleman whose advice is well-respected and whose recipes are very much anticipated, please click here.  Chef Dennis has a “pull up a chair and let’s visit” personality and it’s a delight spending time with him!

Then head over to my guest post on A Culinary Journey with Chef Dennisfeaturing Jam Session Parfait… plus a few adventures. ;)

(Kindly leave a “howdy do” in the comment section to let him know you’re visiting from a little lunch.  Thanks!)

Your thoughts represent freedom of expression and I treasure that — and you — greatly.  Have a safe and memorable 4th of July!

Enjoying kindness and freedom,

~ Kim

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