Sunday, January 25, 2009

Sweet on a snowy day

What better on a snowy day than a warm bright kitchen and some good homey treats.

When we were little, my mother always baked when it snowed. I think some people around these parts even refer to it as "baking snow". I just couldn't resist with the white stuff piling up outside the window and me at home with time on my hands.

When we were feeling a bit pooky as kids, or needed a sweet little something, my mother would open up the cupboard, take out the ingredients and whip up lovely little vanilla egg custards in small custard cups. They made the kitchen smell heavenly, and with the hot water bath around the dishes in the oven, the kitchen got nice and steamy. ( A great place to give those sore winter noses and sinuses a break!) Well, since Michael had to work and was battling a bit of a cold, I hunted down this recipe so he'd have something nice to come home to. My mother's version used evaporated skim milk and I've replaced it with fresh whole milk.

Vanilla Egg Custard

serves 6

2 Cups whole milk (we use organic)
3 Large eggs
1/2 brown sugar (or Turbinado)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
cinnamon sugar for sprinkling (we use evap. cane juice instead of ultra refined sugar)

Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease 6 custard cups with butter (or cold-pressed organic coconut oil) and set aside.

Whisk all ingredients together in medium bowl. Make sure you've broken up all the egg white and yolk. Mixture should be light lemon yellow and frothy.

Divide evenly into custard cups. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar (optional). Place in 13" x 9" baking pan or other to hold all custard cups. Place on center rack of the oven and pour hot water into pan 3/4 of the way up sides of custard cups to make a steam bath for the little dishes.

Bake until custards are just set. About 40 minutes. Remove from water bath and cool or rack. Serve warm or chilled. Will last up to 4 days in the fridge if covered.


And since we couldn't just focus on dessert...

I pulled some of our own sourdough pizza dough out of the freezer, and we had this yummy calamata olive spread, carmelized onion, spinach and goat cheese pizza for supper. Nice!

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