You might think that the humble vanilla custard is nothing to write home about.
Vanilla custard is divine. It's homey. It's comfort food.
It reminds me of my grandmother, in her kitchen, late at night, with all the lights on, laughing comfortably and eating this custard.
It reminds me of my mother.
This custard is home.
Vanilla Cup Custards
From Gourmet Today
3 cups whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract or 1 vanilla bean, halved lengthwise
3 large eggs
3 large egg yolks
3/4 cup sugar
pinch of salt
freshly grated nutmeg
equipment: eight 6-ounce ramekins or custard cups.
Put rack in middle of oven and preheat oven to 325 F.
Pour milk into a 1 quart heavy saucepan. If using vanilla bean, scrape seeds into milk and add pod. Bring milk to a simmer, then remove from heat. If using vanilla bean, let milk mixture steep for five minutes.
Whisk together eggs, yolks, sugar, salt and vanilla extract, if using, in a medium bowl. Add hot milk in a slow stream, whisking. Pour through a fine meshed sieve into a 1 quart glass measure or a bowl with pour spout. Skim off any foam with a spoon.
Divide misture among custard cups and sprinkle with nutmeg to taste. Arrange custard cups in a small roasting pan. Put pan in oven, add enough boiling water to pan to reach halfway up sides of cups and loosely cover pan with foil. Bake custards until just set around edges but still wobbly in center, 35 to 40 minutes. Transfer custard cups to a rack. Serve warm or chilled.