Sunday, December 19, 2010

Old Fashioned Baked Custard

Old fashioned baked custard made from eggs, whole milk, sugar, nutmeg and vanilla with a sprinkling of optional coconut.
Old fashioned baked custard made from eggs, whole milk, sugar, nutmeg and vanilla with a sprinkling of optional coconut.

Old Fashioned Baked Custard

I had a taste for some old fashioned baked custard the other day.  Whether it was the freezing weather prompting the simple warmth of the hot custard itself, or because I hadn't been eating enough eggs lately, the craving was very specific. I wanted this delicious, heart warming custard.

Course, I really don't need a strong craving for me to enjoy custard - either straight from the oven like this, in the old fashioned simplicity of a custard pie, or in the form of the creamy homemade custard in my banana pudding - I have always adored this pure mix of egg, milk and sugar. My favorite way is simple, unadorned and piping hot from the oven, but this time I decided to make it with some toasted coconut. It was excellent, but if you don't like coconut, it'd be equally wonderful even without it.

A slow gentle heat is best here for cooking the custard, so use a nice water bath to bake them in, or a Bain-Marie (bahn-mah-REE) if you wanna get all fancy. That simply means cooking one container, the ramekins, in a larger container, the baking dish, surrounded by hot water. Egg proteins can be rather sensitive, so a slow gentle heat provided by the cushion of hot water will keep them nice and smooth and will help prevent curdling.

Recipe: Old Fashioned Baked Custard

©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 45 min
Total time: 55 min

Yield: About 4 to 6 servings

  • 2-1/2 cups very hot, whole milk
  • 1/3 cup of sweetened coconut, toasted and divided, optional
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup of granulated sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Whole nutmeg

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Butter six small ramekins; set aside. Heat up enough water to fill a 13 x 9 inch glass baking dish halfway. Heat milk to near boiling in the microwave or on the stovetop; set aside. Toast the coconut in a skillet; set aside to cool. Reserve one tablespoon of the coconut for garnish.

Whisk the eggs; beat in the sugar a little at a time. Add the salt and slowly beat in the hot milk, a little at a time, so as not to scramble the eggs. Add the vanilla and all but one tablespoon of coconut. Pour evenly into six small ramekins. Sprinkle tops of each ramekin with a fresh grating of nutmeg.

Set the ramekins in the baking dish, and slowly pour the hot water around them, up to just under the rims, taking care not to allow the water to come up over the tops.

Bake at 325 degrees F, for about 45 minutes or until knife inserted comes out clean. Remove from the oven slowly to avoid splashing water into the ramekins and using an oven mitt, carefully remove each ramekin from the water. Sprinkle the reserved coconut over the top of each custard as a garnish. Let cool; can be served warm or cold.

Makes 4 to 6, depending on the size ramekins used.


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©Deep South Dish
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Posted by on December 19, 2010
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