Soft and creamy with a hint of vanilla and a sprinkle of nutmeg – my Grandma Esh made the best Baked Cup Custard I ever tasted. It was always exciting to watch her mix the egg-thickened farm milk mixture, pour it into her beautiful, brown, earthenware custard cups, sprinkle each serving with nutmeg, place them in the oven in a dish of hot water, and then savor every bite of custard for dessert after it was baked.
I’ve heard Cup Custard (a simple dessert made with only five ingredients) called Creme Brûlée’s country cousin. Custard’s origins can be traced all the way back to Roman times, and Cup Custard is mentioned in French and Italian medieval literature. Cooks throughout Europe and the Americas adopted the method, including Amish and Mennonites who love to serve delicious desserts.
Putting the desert together is a relatively simple task, followed by about 45 minutes of baking. With its uncomplicated but delicious flavor, our entire family enjoys it!
Begin by heating the milk till it begins to steam – very hot, but not boiling.
Whisk eggs, add sugar, salt and vanilla and mix together.
Add milk to egg mixture very slowly, whisking the entire time.
Pour into custard cups or ramekins.
Sprinkle with nutmeg.
Place custard cups in a baking dish, and pour hot water into the dish until it reaches approximately the level of the custard.
- 4 eggs
- 1/2 - 2/3 cup sugar (based on personal preference of less or more sweet.)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 4 cups milk
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- Nutmeg (optional)
- Beat eggs.
- Add sugar, salt and vanilla, whisk till combined.
- Scald milk - or heat till just below boiling point.
- Slowly pour hot milk into egg mixture while whisking to prevent eggs from cooking.
- Pour into custard cups, filling 2/3 - 3/4 full.
- Sprinkle with nutmeg if desired.
- Set cups in a baking dish or pan and pour hot water around them until it comes to the level of the custard.
- Bake at 325 approximately 45 minutes, or until a knife comes out clean when inserted in the center of the custard.
- Do not let water in pan boil.
- Serve with whipped cream if desired.
- Makes 8 custards.
Recipe source: Mabel Yoder and Mrs. I. Lapp; Mennonite Community Cookbook, Herald Press