This recipe is NOT safe for someone on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet.
Our household is seeing the renewing life of spring. Our fridge is full of fresh milk and pastured eggs. One part of local, seasonal eating is learning about all the wonderful meals and desserts that can use this seasonal bounty. This recipe is based on a Custard recipe from the 1979 edition of the Joy of Cooking. I have found the older editions of the Joy of Cooking better for traditional recipes. I was pleasantly surprised to read about instructions for using non-pasteurized milk in custard making. How times have changed.
The secret to a great custard is the amount of egg white in the recipe. If you include all the egg whites you get a firm egg-pie custard, almost like a sweet quiche. Firm custards take less time to set-up. If you want a very sauce-like custard remove all the egg white. This is my personal favorite type of custard. Sauce-like custards are creamy rich, like a pudding, and take a long cooking time to set-up. Actually, the sauce-like custard is a true pudding, unlike the modern ersatz pretender thickened with cornstarch. This pudding custard can stand alone or be dressed-up with fresh, seasonal fruit. This recipe with four whole eggs and four egg yolks is the middle-of-the-road custard.
4 pastured egg yolks
4 pastured whole eggs
2-4T local raw honey
3c raw or organic full fat milk
2tsp organic vanilla extract (optional)
1/2tsp organic whole nutmeg, freshly grated
Preheat the oven to 325F. In a bowl, lightly beat the whole eggs, egg yolks and honey until smooth. Add the milk, vanilla extract and nutmeg. Mix well but do not beat into a froth.
To make custard you will need at least six small glass oven safe custard bowls and a large glass oven safe baking tray. Pour the mixture into about six glass custard bowls. In the large glass baking tray, partly fill with hot water out of the tap. Do not use boiling water. Place each of the custard bowls into the water bath. The water should come up within about an 3/4 of an inch below the top of the glass bowls. Add more water if needed. The water bath is very important for a good custard consistence. Without the water the custard will overheat and cook too quickly. Carefully move the glass baking tray with all of the custard bowls into the oven. It will be heave. Cook for 45-60 minutes or until a knife will come out clean at the edge of the custard. Or just look at the custard and you will see a firmer area around the edge of the glass custard bowl.
The custard will continue to cook when it is removed from the oven. After about 10 minutes remove the custard from the water bath and cool on the counter. Later place the custard in the fridge and cool before serving. Some people like eating their custard warm so try both ways to find which way your family likes best. If the custard is not sweet enough for your taste, add a small amount of pure organic maple syrup or liquid raw honey to the top of the custard before serving. Simply divine.
Traveling Tip: If you are traveling and want to bring along a custard dessert, use the wide-mouth “salmon” mason jars instead of the glass oven safe custard bowls. After the custard has completely cooled in the fridge, secure the top with the mason jar lid or a Bernardin plastic storage lid. These mason jars stack well in a portable cooler and will be a wonderful surprise for the family at the end of the traveling day.