Recipe: Soft Custard

The CUSTARD given in the accompanying recipe is commonly known as boiled CUSTARD, but this is in no sense a correct name, for the CUSTARD at no time reaches the boiling point. The common method of preparation is dry steaming, for which the double boiler is an essential utensil. If one is not in supply, however, a Saucepan placed in a larger pan of water will serve the purpose. The CUSTARD should be stirred continuously during its cooking. Then it will not set nor thicken as does baked CUSTARD, even though the proportion of eggs and milk may be higher.
[Illustration: FIG. 2, Testing doneness of soft CUSTARD with spoon.]
The test for soft CUSTARD, which is exactly opposite from that for baked CUSTARD, is shown in Fig. 2. As soon as the CUSTARD mixture lightly coats a spoon it is done. Then it should be removed from the fire and the inner part of the double boiler removed from the outer part to avoid the application of any more heat. If too much heat has been applied or the CUSTARD has been cooked too long, the result will be a curdled mass. As soon as this is observed, the CUSTARD should be removed from the hot water, placed at once into a pan of cold water, and beaten vigorously with a rotary egg beater. To improve it further, it may be poured through a fine wire sieve or strainer. Unless the curding has gone too far or the egg has been cooked a great deal too long, this treatment will produce a very decided improvement in the CUSTARD and possibly bring it to a normal condition.

(Sufficient to Serve Four)

  •  1 pt. milk
  •  3 eggs
  •  1/4 c. sugar
  •  1/4 tsp. salt
  •  1/4 tsp. vanilla
  •  1/4 tsp. lemon extract

Heat the milk in the inner pan of a double boiler. Separate the eggs. Beat the yolks slightly, and to them add the sugar and salt. Dilute with a little of the hot milk. Blend well together and pour into the hot milk. Stir constantly until the mixture coats a spoon, and then remove from the fire. Beat the egg whites until they are stiff but not dry, and fold them into the mixture. Flavor with the vanilla and lemon extract, cool, and serve.
To obtain variety in soft CUSTARDs, chocolate, caramel, maple, and other flavors may be used in their preparation in the same way as for baked CUSTARDs.

Woman’s Institute Library of Cookery, Vol. 4
by Woman’s Institute of Domestic Arts and Sciences (Year 1928)