When I was growing up, boiled custard was an annual part of our holidays. It was sold in the grocery store right next to the eggnog. I always thought it tasted just like melted vanilla ice cream, and it wasn’t until later when I became more interested in cooking and baking that I realized that’s basically exactly what it is!
If you have ever made homemade ice cream with a cooked egg yolk base, then you have technically already made boiled custard. You just skip the step where you add the custard to the churner and instead you pour it, chilled, right into a glass and drink it up.
Sound rich? Oh, it is. But that’s what the holidays are all about.
I was an adult before I learned that boiled custard is a treat that is specific to the southern U.S, especially Kentucky and Tennessee, where I live. My husband, who is from California, had never heard of such a thing. Once I realized that it’s simple to make homemade boiled custard (and that I had already made it dozens of times through my many batches of homemade ice cream) I will never go back to purchasing the cartons from the grocery store.
I like to use vanilla bean paste so that you can see the pretty vanilla bean speckles in the custard. Vanilla bean paste and vanilla extract is equal in flavor, however, so if you only have extract go ahead and use it and it’ll be perfect.
You can add some spices if you like – cinnamon, nutmeg, etc… but I like it pure and simple. If I want it spiced, I’ll drink eggnog!
I like to sip on boiled custard when it is ice ice cold. I like to move it from the fridge to the freezer about 20 minutes before I’m ready to serve it so that it gets extra chilly. Enjoy!
|Southern Style Boiled Custard|| || |
- 1 quart (4 cups) whole milk or half & half
- ½ cup granulated white sugar, divided
- 5 large egg yolks
- 2 tsp vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
- Whisk the egg yolks and ¼ cup of the sugar in a mixing bowl and set aside.
- Combine the milk or half & half and the remaining sugar in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Heat on medium until just starting to steam, but do not allow it to boil.
- Scoop out about ½ cup of the heated milk mixture and drizzle it into the egg yolks while whisking constantly. Then slowly pour the egg and milk mixture back into the saucepan.
- Cook, stirring frequently, until the mixture thickens a little and coats the back of the spoon. If you use a candy thermometer, you want the mixture to reach 160F but not exceed 175F. This step usually takes about 20 minutes.
- Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla extract.
- NEW NOTE: If the egg mixture was tempered correctly, the custard shouldn't contain lumps, but if it does, simply use a fine mesh strainer to get them out.
- Chill thoroughly before serving.
Save this recipe to your holiday Pinterest boards! Use the pretty image below: