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.
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.