I thought I could make custard.
On Monday night, I lay out my clothes and packed my lunch and set up the coffee pot so that all I would have to do is press the button to turn it on in the morning. I sat up too late writing, but that’s a hard habit to break. I set my alarm, dutifully, then tried to sleep, fitfully. But finally, I did. When I woke up this morning, the grey light peeked through my eyelids, and I struggled to wake up. In mists of that nether region twixt dream and awake, I swum for several minutes. And then I sat upright and stared at the alarm clock. “6:46?!?” My alarm had not gone off. (A few minutes later, I realized I had set it for 6 pm, which must have been a separate, cruel mind at work.) I was supposed to be up at 6. The bus was going to be leaving at 7:05. I had 19 minutes. Thank goodness I had been geeky enough to lay out my clothes the night before. (And it was my black, pinstripe suit, so I fooled everyone into thinking I had spent time getting ready.)
I ran to the kitchen, slammed on the coffee pot, throw a piece of gluten-free bread in the toaster, rinsed my face, put on my contacts, sloshed some coffee in a cup, sipped it, put the rest in my travel mug, found my shoes, threw some makeup in my bag, and still had enough time to get online and post yesterday’s essay. (I know. I’m a little amazed myself.) And I made the bus.
UPDATE: Elise has posted the round-up on her website. My goodness she is fast! And those other custards look gorgeous!
A MEANINGFUL CUSTARD, from Greg Atkinson
Well, just because I botched this custard doesn’t mean you can’t make a fabulous one with this recipe. If you do, let me know!
The simplicity of baked custard demands that the ingredients be of the very highest quality. Take time to seek out the best organic cream, eggs and sugar. Compare brands to find the ones you like best.
1 1/2 cups whole milk
3/4 cup heavy cream
2 large free-range eggs
2 yolks from free-range eggs
1/2 cup turbinado sugar or pure maple sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract, optional
Freshly grated nutmeg, optional
1.Put six custard cups in a baking dish, and preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. In a saucepan over medium-high heat, stir the milk and cream until the liquid is steaming hot but not boiling.
3. Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, egg yolks, sugar and salt. You may wish to slip in the vanilla and nutmeg as well.
4. Whisk about two cups of the steaming hot milk into the egg mixture, then stir all of the egg mixture into the remaining milk in the saucepan. Stir gently until well combined, then transfer the custard to the custard cups.
5. Pour water around the cups in the baking pan to reach halfway up the sides of the cups. Cover the cups with aluminum foil and bake 25 to 30 minutes, or just until the custard is set. Chill the custard before serving.