Thursday, February 13, 2014
Winter Survival: Custard Cups
When you're facing yet another forecast of 14-plus inches of snow and you've just found out that fuel oil is now $4.25/gallon, there is only one thing that will keep you from suicidal thoughts: custard.
I make my custard from the recipe in my mother's Joy of Cooking - circa 1949. It was a wedding gift from her sister, my Aunt Josie. And I make them in the same custard cups that my mother used to make hers in. When we were kids and were sick, she would make us custard. On the one day you were actually allowed to be sick. After that, you had better snap to. Only under extreme circumstances were we able to languish in bed for more than one day. The thing that always 'cured' me was the threat of a bowl of milk toast. Gak.
The basic recipe: Scald two cups of whole milk, mixed with 1/4 cup of sugar and a pinch of salt. Beat two eggs thoroughly and very, very gradually, beat in the scalded milk mixture. Add 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla and pour into cups. Grate some fresh nutmeg on top and put them in a pan, adding hot water to reach halfway up your cups. Cook in a preheated 325 degree oven for 35-45 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the custard comes out clean.
As my hero, Julia, would say - Bon Appetit!