Saturday, November 16, 2013

Easy Awesome Egg Custard

A few weeks ago, I posted a photo that had a dish of my egg custard in it, and I got several folks asking for the recipe. It's a lot of steps, but they are all very simple. This is my staple autumn/winter snack...good source of calcium, protein, and cozy factor :)

Read on for more!

Edibles you will need:

• 2c milk (I prefer whole or 2%)
• 1/3c sugar (I often use palm or brown, but you can use white, raw, etc)
• 3 large eggs
• splash vanilla extract
• ground nutmeg

Tools you'll need:

•1 medium mixing bowl (if it has a spout that will make it much easier)
•1 measuring cup
•1 whisk or fork
•1 med saucepan
•4 4-6 ounce oven-safe ramekins or custard dishes
•1 high-sided cake pan or casserole dish (I actually have a disposable foil casserole pan I use specifically for this, I set it on a cookie sheet for stability)
•kettle or pot for boiling water

1) preheat oven to 325F.
2) get the kettle or pot full of water, and start heating it up. It doesn't have to boil, you just want hot water for the last step.
3) put the milk, sugar, splash of vanilla, and a few shakes of nutmeg into a saucepan and start heating it up. You want to bring the milk to the point of boiling, then stop heating it immediately. Stir often to prevent it from burning on the bottom.
4) while the milk is getting hot, crack open the 3 eggs into the mixing bowl, and whisk them smooth.
5) once the milk has *just* boiled, take it immediately off the heat.
6) Now you need to "temper" the milk and the eggs together. DO NOT dump the eggs into the hot milk; if you do this, they will cook and you'll have scrambled eggs floating in hot milk. You need to slowly raise the temperature of the eggs so that all can mix together harmoniously. I put the hot milk in a spouted measuring cup and slowly pour a thin stream of the hot milk into the eggs, while stirring. If you do it slowly, all will be fine.
7) Put your 4 baking cups into the cake pan with some room between them.
8) pour the custard mixture into all 4 cups, dividing evenly. Top with a little shake of nutmeg.

9) pour hot water into the cake pan (careful not to splash into the custard!) about 1/2way up the sides of the custard cups.
10) place in the oven. Bake for 35-45 minutes.

They are done when the top has a bit of a thicker "pudding skin" to it, and when shaken they jiggle like pudding, but do not slosh around like liquid. Take them immediately out of the oven, remove from the water, and let them cool for about 1 hour before either eating them or putting them (covered) in the fridge for eating later.

When it comes to exactly when they are done, that might take some trial and error - differences in ovens, ramekins, humidity, etc. all affect this, this recipe is just what works for me.

I recommend this with a cup of coffee for a breakfast on a cool morning (a short time in the microwave makes it nice and warm). Enjoy!

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