Custards Last Stand

I’m fairly certain that almost every birthday cake I had as a small child came from a place called the Home Dairy. Once located in an old brick building in downtown Ithaca, the Home Dairy was a bakery and cafeteria in the truest form. It was here that Mr. Avery baked and decorated the cakes and cookies that my bother, sister and I would spend our formative years fiending for. It was here that I was first inspired to try my hand at making something sweet and good looking for someone else to eat. It was here that I also had my first taste of baked egg custard. Egg custard and egg custard pie are classic Southern desserts that I rarely come across. Delicious, simple, without excess – egg custard is one of my favorite desserts, and invokes some of the sweetest taste memories of my life. Here’s how you do it:

Baked Egg Custard

6 eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 1/2 cups milk
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat the oven to 350. Yield 8 6oz custards.

Put the eggs in a mixing bowl and stir just until mixed. Add the sugar, salt and milk, and mix until well blended.

Strain through a fine meshed sieve, and stir in the nutmeg and vanilla. Divide evenly among your custard cups.

Place cups in a baking pan, and fill the pan halfway up the cups with hot water. Bake in preheated oven for 30 min, or just until custards are set (this can seem tricky if you haven’t made custard before because they’ll be a little jiggly, but if a knife inserted in the center comes out clean – you’re all good). Remove from the hot water bath and cool.

I like my custard at room temperature or chilled. Some like it warm. I support you in serving/eating it however you want to. Your kitchen – your rules.



One Comment

  1. miss miss wrote:

    I truly miss the Home Dairy & the above mentioned custsrd! It was such a special treat, as we didn't go downtown very often. Actually, most of. my Home Dairy custard memories are seated in my weekly visits with Tony Payne that occured for a while in my formative years…Anyone else have similar memories?? Thank u, Alexis, for reminding me tonight of that. place. It was one of my 1st jobs, too…Remember? When Sid & I stayed with u in your mama's basement that summer? ;)