January 9, 2013

richer than the richest gold


While I claim to be proud of my Southern roots, it seems that I rarely post about truly Southern cuisine. However, every now and then I'll feature something that's foreign to my friends outside the southern chunk of the US, and I suspect this one may fall into that category.


Imagine, if you will, the melted vanilla ice cream that's left in your bowl after about 10 minutes of sitting out. Do you turn up the bowl and drink it? Do you love it? Boiled custard is kinda like that, but even thicker and even more flavorful and satisfying.


Custard isn't something you want to be drinking every day; it's more of a special occasion treat. My grandma used to make it every Christmas and we all got so excited about it. She doesn't go to the trouble anymore, and since I can attest that the store-bought version that we tried one year doesn't hold a candle, I thought I'd make a batch and surprise her with it.


Custard is pretty easy to make, but it does require patience. If things go awry, they go horribly awry--smooth, luscious, thick custard just isn't the same with bits of cooked egg floating around in it. If that happens, I think a simple straining at the end of the process would be a good idea.

Incidentally, I'm not a glutton--this is a wee, half-cup jar glass. :)

If you want to get fancy, you can skip the vanilla extract and cook the milk with a vanilla bean and the seeds you've scraped from it. If you choose to do this, it's probably a good idea to strain the custard regardless of the presence or absence of scrambled eggs.

One more thing--you might see some recipes that include flour in the ingredients. I do NOT recommend this unless you intend to use the custard as some sort of sauce. There's thick, and then there's THICK.


This may not be everyone's cup of tea--it definitely coats your mouth with its thick richness and some people might not be into that. If you do like decadent things, though, give it a try! It might become a new tradition for you!

Boiled Custard
Copied exactly from my Granny Frannie
Ingredients:

  • 1/2 gallon (8 cups) milk (or half-and-half, if you really want to spoil yourself)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar, divided
  • 7 large egg yolks
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
Directions:
Pour the milk into a large pot (some insist on using a double boiler, but I haven't found it necessary) and whisk in 1/3 cup granulated sugar. Cook over medium heat until a thin skin forms on the top--do not boil.
Meanwhile, whisk together the remaining sugar and the egg yolks until well-blended and pale yellow in color.
When the skin has formed on the milk, remove it from the heat and scoop out about a cup and pour it into the bowl with the yolks and sugar. Whisk to combine, then add another cup of milk and mix it in. Now that the eggs are tempered, pour that mixture into the pot of milk and whisk until fully combined.
Return the pot to the heat and cook the mixture over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until it coats the back of a wooden spoon. This will take around 10-15 minutes. Once you've achieved the proper thickness, remove the pot from the heat and stir in the vanilla. Let the custard cool in the pot for a few minutes, stirring occasionally, then pour it into a two quart jars or whatever container you have on hand. Keep refrigerated! Some people drink this warm, but I like it best when it's well-chilled. (Talk about gilding the lily--when we had this at Christmas, many members of my family would opt to add a scoop of vanilla ice cream to their cup of custard! Oh, the decadence!)

48 comments:

Foodycat said...

And this is a drink? My lord! It looks amazing (possibly better spiked with rum though).

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Divine!

Cheers,

Rosa

Leslie said...

Wait, you drink this????OH>MY>WORD
this could be dangerous!

April @ PolkaDots n' PinkySwears said...

Just...yum!!!!!

lisa is cooking said...

This is foreign, or unfamiliar at any rate, to me. It sounds divine. Yes, I drink the melted ice cream, and yes, I'd like a glass of this--with the scoop of ice cream!

Sue/the view from great island said...

This is completely new to me! I wonder if it's related to the British custard sauce that they pour over so many of their desserts?

Bianca @ Confessions of a Chocoholic said...

I've never heard of boiled custard but I think I would love this! It sounds so decadent and delicious :)

Pam said...

I have never had this, but I can tell it would totally be my thing!

Anonymous said...

It's called plain ol' custard here in the UK(moved last Christmas), and they use it as a sauce with every kind of dessert imaginable; crumbles, cobblers, steamed puddings, cakes....you name it, they do it.

I can't tell my husband about drinking it, though....I'd be making it evry night! *lol*

bellini said...

My mom used to serve custard on our Christmas pudding. As a child I would just eat the custard.

Lisa-Marie said...

So. Boiled custard is the same as decent British custard! I'd never have thought of drinking it though - we have it with cake or pie.

I tend to remove the vanilla pod but leave the seeds in. YUM.

Anonymous said...

Wow! That drinks looks and sounds wonderful,Grace!I have never had it, but I would love to try it. I usually like to drink melted ice cream......I put one cup of ice cream in the microwave for 30 seconds and it is delicious :)

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

It sounds like it would be similar to egg nog in texture? Not a bad thing at all! :D

Food Gal said...

Never heard of boiled custard before. But my, oh my, it sure looks rich and satsifying.

jillian said...

I love these regional things I have never heard of! Sounds super rich. :) I would love to see more southern things!

Von said...

Wow....that's a huge serving! haha..
Looks really decadent though! Definitely perfect for a cold winter's night ;)

Guru Uru said...

Indulgence city :D

Cheers
CCU

grace said...

@Von: no, no! it's the tiniest of tiny jar glasses--4 ounces worth, at best. :)

Joanne said...

I've never thought to just have boiled custard as a dessert...but it does just sound amazing.

vianney said...

lip smacking goodness~

Pam said...

I've never heard of it but I know I would LOVE it!

Anonymous said...

what a nice thing to do for your granny. how thoughtful of you. was she surprised and delighted to have it?

Beth said...

Yup, it's new to me, but it looks yummy!

Erica said...

This drinks looks creamy and delicious!
Love melted ice cream,so this is perfect for me!

Jackie@Syrup and Biscuits said...

Gurl, you did us proud! Boiled Custard is a most supreme Southern delight. I agree with you that you shouldn't use flour or cornstarch if you expect to have a drinkable consistency.

Blond Duck said...

I'll drink this with derby pie!

I Wilkerson said...

You are right--I hadn't heard of this before, but I am positive I'd love it!

Lynda said...

Can't believe that I've never heard of this Grace! We love custard and to be able to drink it would be heavenly........my husband would certainly be in line for ice cream too.

Kerstin said...

I hadn't heard of this before either but I can see why it's a family tradition to serve it each year because it sounds like such a decadent treat (especially with ice cream in it too!)!

Audra said...

This is a family tradition for us - we pour it over peppermint ice cream in a meringue shell. Fabulous!!

Gloria said...

ah Grace look delicious!!

Angie's Recipes said...

If it is better than the softened ice cream, then it must be divine, Grace.

Amy (Savory Moments) said...

You are correct that I have never heard of this before, but I think it sounds really decadent and quite delicious!

Tulips1776 said...

Sounds wonderful and reminds me of the Floating Island Custard my southern Granny would make for my dad's birthday....yours without the island of course. Love your site.

vanillasugarblog said...

isn't that just clever of you!
fabulous!

Mimi said...

I'll have mine with ice cream please!
Mimi

Marjie said...

I do this, but with a teeny bit of cornstarch, so I can eat it with a spoon. Decadent!

Eva Kosmas said...

Ahhh! I had no idea this existed and now I feel like my life has been so terribly incomplete. I LOVE custard, and the thought of drinking a liquid version of it just delights me. I have to make this!

Jeff @ Cheeseburger said...

This boiled custard looks very delicious. Perfect for special occasions.

wakanetwork said...

I'm in love with this creamy custard. This looks really good!

Katerina said...

I love custard and this boiled one looks so smooth and rich in flavor!

Becki's Whole Life said...

I have been in the south for 6 years now and I haven't heard of boiled custard - how is that? This sounds like it would definitely be a holiday treat - kinda like homemade eggnog. I love custard though so I would love this. Have you ever tried it with some bourbon?

My Kitchen Stories. said...

Definitely would be quite delicious. bUT YOUR RIGHT NOT AN EVERYDAY TREAT

Simply Life said...

I had no idea this what was to do!

Jaime Tyson said...

I just tried this recipe but mine didn't thicken. Any tips?

grace said...

@Jaime Tyson: I'm truly baffled! Did you use the yolks from large eggs? It could be that it just didn't cook long enough--the mixture has to reach about 160 degrees F before it will start to thicken. It does thicken up more when it's cool. I'm really sorry it didn't work for you and that I don't have a better answer!

Jaime Tyson said...

Yes - I wonder if I messed something up during the original milk cooking stage? I stopped cooking it right after the milk got a thin film - maybe I should have waited a bit longer? After everything was combined, I cooked it for a good 30 minutes at least and no thickening. My husband and daughter still loved it, so it must have tasted right, just wasn't thick. Guess I'll have to try again!

grace said...

@Jaime Tyson: 30 minutes! Yeah, it should've thickened in that amount of time, at least some. Please do try it again and let me know if make any changes that work for you!