Recipe :: Boiled Custard

Boiled custard is an old-fashioned Southern recipe and was a favorite treat of mine that Mom saved for very special occasions. I hadn’t had it for years when I up & married someone who loves it as much as I do. Mom wasn’t sure of her recipe (she quit making it when one of her friends starting bringing a superior version to Dad as a treat), so I’ve been on a quest for several years now to replicate that delicious, creamy egg-nectar from my childhood.

If you’re not familiar with boiled custard, compare it to pudding, but it is thinner than that. It is thicker than egg nog, but that’s a good comparison regarding flavor (minus the spirits).

I’ve played with several recipes, but this year, I believe I’ve perfected it.

Old-Fashioned Southern Boiled Custard
12 egg yolks
2 scant cups white sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 gallon milk
nutmeg (garnish – optional)

Beat the egg yolks with the sugar, vanilla and 1 cup of milk. Pour into the top half of a double boiler. Add the rest of the milk. Cook for 45 minutes, whisking frequently – especially toward the end when the custard is thickening. (Cook longer if it hasn’t thickened to the point of coating the back of a wooden spoon.)

If the custard has clumped, strain as you’re pouring it up. Like other Southern treats, it stores well in mason jars. 🙂

Serve in small compote dishes. Top with a sprinkle of nutmeg. (I use fresh nutmeg; whole nuts are available at Whole Foods and can be grated with a zester.)

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