Boiled Custard

Before the 18th century custard was not what we think of today, rather it was served as part of the second course of the meal and was filled with meat or other foods. Custard recipes were often doubled to make large quantities and for special occasions. In 18th century recipe books the following titles can be seen “Cheap Family Custard” and “Custard For Company”. Custards were often made because the ingredients were readily available because they were just a walk away to the barn and were filling. During the 18th century the traditional custard cups were developed into several sweeter dish such as trifle and flan.

20th century custard dishes

This recipe was taken as is from The National Cook Book, by a Lady of Philadelphia, 1850. Written in the margins of the book along side the recipe was “Very good recipe”.

Boiled Custard

Eight eggs

One quart of milk (4 cups)

Sugar to the taste.

Add the sugar to the milk with any thing to flavor it you choose. Set it over the fire, and as soon as it begins to boil stir in the beaten eggs very gradually – stir all the time one way; as soon as it is thick take it off the fire, or it will curdle. Fill your cups and stand it away to cool. Grate nutmeg over before they are sent to table or use fresh fruit, such as raspberries, cherries or strawberries.

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