Vanilla Custard Recipe by Nana Bessie

As a means of re-testing this recipe, Steve Woodman recently made a batch and brought it to his cousin Leonard, who beamed when he tasted it, hailing it a major success. A while later Leonard called Steve to say that the custard brought back some wonderful memories. He also wanted to express how serious he was when he said that it was good, adding, “I would never dishonor her custard by saying that if it wasn’t.”

According to Steve the secret is in the local CSA non-homogenized milk, and his neighbor’s hen-layed eggs, both of which he purchased just to make the custard. “I wanted to use ingredients that would be the closest to what Nana Bessie would have used,” he says, “and I think it worked!”


Vanilla Custard Ingredients

4 or 5 large eggs

½ cup granulated sugar

4 cups whole milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

How to Make Custard

Preheat the oven to 350˚F and adjust rack to center position. In a large mixing bowl beat the eggs and sugar to combine. Add the milk and vanilla extract. Stir together and pour into six (6 ounce) greased custard cups or tumblers. Place the cups/tumblers in a 9″ x 13″ roasting pan (careful not to allow them to touch) and make a hot water bath by pouring hot water to a ½ inch below the tops of the cups. Place in oven and bake for 45 minutes, or until firm. Cool the custard cups/tumblers at room temperature and then place in the refrigerator … or cold room.

Recipe Notes: Use 6 eggs if they are small. A hot-water bath prevents the custard from scorching or over-cooking.

For more delicious recipes from Woodman’s of Essex, check out our new cookbook!

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