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Friday, November 5, 2010

Random Food Fridays - Egg Custard

Eggs. Butter. Bacon. Cream for coffee. You could say breakfast is one of the main reasons I will never be a vegan. My near ancestors were farmers. They raised dairy cattle, hogs, beans and fruit. This is spread across both sides of my ancestral lines. I live in the house that my maternal great grandparents moved into when they grew too old to manage their farm in Tracy. The comfort foods I grew up with often came from their generation.

This dish could not be simpler or more delicious. I renewed my acquaintance with this creamy egg dessert through Sunset's Easy Basics for Good Cooking. Like any basic recipe, it is ripe for invention. That being said, I really like the simple elegance of freshly grated nutmeg. Nutmeg is so fragrant and unique, yet somehow this strong flavor perfectly compliments the gentle flavors of milk and eggs.

Egg Custard

2 cups milk (I used a blend of skim milk and half & half because that's what I had around.)

1/4 cup sugar

3 whole eggs or 6 egg yolks (I used whole eggs.)

1/2 tsp. vanilla

Fresh nutmeg to grate on top

My methodology differs slightly from the Sunset method. They advise to scald the milk then stir in the sugar to dissolve. I whisked my eggs and sugar together while the milk was heating. Some tiny bubbles formed on the surface of mine, but I don't mind that. (Am I the only person in the world who likes pudding skin?) I also did not strain my custard because the little twirly bits of egg white don't bother me. If you are making this for a dinner party, or squeamish children, you might want to strain it.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Start heating a kettle of water.

Paraphrased from Sunset - In a medium sauce pan, scald the milk. That means heat it until little bubbles start to show up around the edges and the milk is heated through. Remove from heat and stir in the sugar. Whisk the eggs in a large bowl. Slowly whisk the hot milk into the eggs then stir in the vanilla.

Place ramekins in a baking pan and carefully pour the custard into the ramekins. Top with freshly grated nutmeg. Place the pan with the ramekins into the preheated oven and pour the hot water into the bake pan so that the water comes up to about 1 inch. Bake for 25-30 minutes. Custard should remain jiggly in the center. Remove from oven and remove the ramekins from the hot water and allow to cool.

I like this both warm and cold. According to Sunset, this makes six servings. You gotta be kidding me. Two. Tops.


1 comment:

  1. I love the word 'Ramekin'.,.. this looks delicious. Let me know when to come over!