After the excess of the holidays, it’s good to pare things down in our lives. Keeping home decor to a minimum and more neutral is calming. Like a blanket of snow it just soothes everyone. You can also keep your meals simple, uncomplicated and comforting. Soups and stews make a great choice for easy winter meals. Simple roasted meats like chicken and beef don’t take a lot of time and effort.
For dessert, again keeping things simple is the rule here at Pinecone Cottage Retreat after the holidays. Generally, I try to cut back on the excess sugar that was hanging around during the holidays. So I limit the amount of baking and desserts I make. However, there is one dessert that I like to prepare that is so simple. Yet it provides that calming and comfort we are looking for after the chaotic holiday season.
The dessert is Classic Custard. It was a favorite of my husband’s mother and we often enjoy it any time of the year. This recipe comes from my husband’s Aunt. She has been making it for many, many years. Preparing old family recipes is something I like to do. When you pass on your favorite recipes and meals you have a connection from one generation to the next. It’s especially nice when the recipe is as delightful as this custard.
Classic Custard in a dish or as a Pie….
A smooth, creamy dessert that it so comforting anytime of the year.
- 4 whole eggs, slightly beaten
- 1/2 cup sugar,
- 1/8 tsp salt, or just a pinch
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 1/2 cups low-fat milk, scalded (See Note)
- 1 pie crust, optional
- 1 cup whipping cream
- 2-3 tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
Mix the eggs, sugar, salt and vanilla.
Slowly stir in the hot milk whisking the ingredients together.
Pour into an oven proof casserole dish or a piecrust.
Bake at 475 degrees for 5 minutes. Reduce heat to 425 degrees and continue baking for 15-18 minutes more, until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. If you are baking a pie, you might need to cover the crust edge with foil in the last 10 minutes to prevent over-browning.
Cool on a rack. Can enjoy immediately or refrigerate until chilled. Keep any leftover custard stored in the refrigerator.
Note: To scald the milk just bring it to a boil on the stove top or in the microwave. Do not actually boil the milk but when you begin to see tiny bubbles form around the edge of the pan it's ready.
Whip the cream, slowly adding in the sugar, vanilla and nutmeg. Serve on top of the cooled custard or pie.
Now is a good time to enjoy your favorite simple meals as you recover from the chaos of the holidays. I hope that you will give this easy to fix, yet comforting dessert a try.
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