This is a real comfort food for me, one of two things I would always request when I was home sick from school. It’s remarkably easy, and flexible. You can substitute half and half or heavy cream for part of the milk and use it as a base for creme brulee. You could also infuse the milk first with any number of flavorings for something more sophisticated. It also makes a terrific filling for custard pie.
You could do all of those things, but when I make custard it’s simple and uncomplicated – the way my grandmother made it. A cold dish of custard, with some fruit on the side, also makes a great breakfast when you’re trying to get the kids out the door to catch the bus. I’m giving you my basic method, which you can scale up or down as need be.
Baked Custard, Basic Method
For each 1-1/2 c. of milk:
1-1/2 t. sugar
1/2 t. vanilla
Dash of cinnamon
Preheat the oven to 325. Combine all the ingredients in a bowl except the cinnamon. Whisk until well-combined. Pour into lightly greased ramekins and sprinkle with cinnamon.
Bake for about 20 minutes, or until the edges are firm but the center still jiggles slightly. Sometimes it will puff a little in the center and then fall when you take it out to cool.
When the ramekins have cooled down a bit cover them with plastic wrap and put them in the refrigerator until thoroughly chilled.