Friday, November 19, 2010

Vanilla Custard

Yes, the custard was sampled before it was chilled. It was sitting there, cooling in the water bath. . . staring. Still warm and a little thinner than the finished product, every bite was worth the breach in patience. It tasted like Christmas. Sweetened with sourwood honey, and spiced with freshly grated nutmeg, I was reminded of something between eggnog and crème brûlée. Though not as fussy as crème brûlée (no torch needed), and fairly simple to make, custard to me, represents the perfect comfort food. Creamy, velvety, and not too sweet, this is bliss on a spoon.
Raw Jersey milk and eggs from the coop out back leave little to improve upon.

Vanilla Custard: Serves about 6
*4 cups raw whole milk
*4 free range eggs
*4 egg yolks
*1/2 cup raw honey
*2 tsp vanilla extract
*freshly grated nutmeg

Preheat oven to 300. Place 6-8 oven safe ceramic cups or mugs in a large roasting pan. Set aside.
Bring milk to a gentle simmer in a medium sized pot. Meanwhile, whisk together the eggs, egg yolks and vanilla. Once milk is hot, whisk in the honey and nutmeg. Slowly begin whisking the egg mixture into the simmering milk. Remove from heat.
Strain mixture through a fine mesh strainer into a medium sized mixing bowl. You may need to scrape the strainer with a spoon to help liquid pass through.
Divide the strained custard mixture into ceramic cups. Pour enough boiling water into the roasting pan to reach halfway up the sides of cups.
Carefully transfer pan to oven. Bake for 35-40 minutes until custard is set.
Allow cups to sit in the water bath until cool enough to handle. Chill completely before serving.

Sprinkle each custard with additional nutmeg, cinnamon or cardamom.


  1. I really really like it when I can make something sweet and decadent and special and all the ingredients are obtained locally. Raw local milk, raw local honey, eggs from the backyard- this is the stuff dreams are made of- the diet of hobbits and satyrs who sing lullabies on their lutes... If only we could find some local sources of spicy flavors that are as good as vanilla and nutmeg. Any ideas? I'll think on it today while I am resting over here.

  2. Just the words "vanilla custard" caught my eye. Oh. I can taste that deliciousness. And I suppose that is why spices were so expensive back in the day. Nothing I can think of is like fresh-grated nutmeg.

    Yum. That's all I can say.


  3. Looks good, almost so good that I would jump in my car and be over there before it is finished.