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Sunny boiled vanilla custard

I have said it before: I love recipe- sharing. I think we who love to cook and bake, whether for family, friends, customers, or ourselves, owe a great debt to the cooks and bakers who came before us.  And we owe it to the younger generations to “pay it forward.” I like to think about the young women my sons will marry someday, and how I hope I’ll be able to stand in my kitchen or theirs and cook with them, teaching them if they want me to, how to make some of our family’s old recipes that we all love.   I would love that!

My mother-in-law has done this for me over the nearly 20 years I’ve been in the Frazier family.  She taught me recently how to make her chocolate icing, which I wrote about here. It’s really good, if not particularly easy.   🙂  And some of her recipes aren’t really recipes; I’ll ask her how much vanilla she puts in the tea cakes, and she’ll say “just some.”  When I wrote down her custard recipe years ago, she said to put in “a couple of glubs of vanilla.”  🙂  I have tinkered with the custard recipe to get the amounts a bit more precise and dependable.  It’s a good, creamy dessert which can be made to be elegant, but makes children happy, too.  I brought the ingredients to a dinner party last year at my friend Charlotte’s home, and we hung out in the kitchen after dinner, chatting and laughing and stirring. We served it ,warm, in pretty dessert dishes, and served it with a simple Smucker’s Caramel topping to the children, and pulled out some bottles of Bailey’s Irish Cream, Godiva Chocolate liquer, and a couple of others, for the adults, and drizzled a bit on top of the individual custards, as the individual preferred.  Oh, my GRACIOUS, that was so delicious.  We all had our own favorite, and enjoyed it thoroughly, while the children gobbled theirs down with the caramel topping.

Mother-in-law Susan and me at Mario's Italian Restaurant in Tyler

If you’d like to try your hand at making your caramel sauce from scratch,  try this recipe. It’s not hard, as long as you don’t overcook it. If you do overcook it, enjoy your candy and call it a day! 🙂

Now for the custard recipe. First of all, keep in mind that this is not like baked custard, which I don’t personally enjoy. It’s not foamy and light, it’s more like a creamy, thick pudding.  It’s a bright, sunny yellow, which really makes it nice on a cold, rainy evening.  (We ARE going to have some of those soon, aren’t we? Please?)  It only takes about 10 minutes to make, too, which is great.

Have ready your blender, a heavy-bottomed sauce pot, and a wire whisk.

Ingredients:

1 cup of sugar

3 egg yolks

3 heaping tablespoons of cornstarch

3 cups of milk, divided

3 tablespoons of butter, melted and cooled a bit

1 tablespoon of pure vanilla extract  (learn how to make your own extract here.)

Directions:

Put one cup of milk in heavy-bottomed pot on the stove over medium-low heat.

Put all other ingredients in blender jar.  Blend until sugar is completely dissolved, which will take less than a minute. Mixture will be yellow and bubbly.

Add blended mixture to hot milk in the pot, and stir over medium-low heat with whisk until mixture thickens to pudding-like consistency. This will take several minutes, so be patient and DON’T walk away. If the custard scorches you’ll have a weird taste and black flecks throughout the custard.  Not good.  When it begins to thicken, get your whisk going a bit faster, to really make it smooth and shiny.

Serve in custard cups or dessert dishes, and drizzle over each the topping of your choice.

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