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Recipe: Baked Custard with Strawberries is a perfect early summer treat

Baked custard was my childhood get-well dish. My mother made it for me when I was ill. As a disciple of the nutritional guru of the day, Adelle Davis, Mom put bigtime value on dishes that were rich in protein. She liked the primary ingredients, milk and eggs. She closed her eyes to sugar, an ingredient she usually eschewed, probably because she thought a treat might be the cure.

I love custard to this day. I like to top the chilled treat with fresh strawberries, although later in the summer I might substitute small wedges of stone fruit, such as apricots or plums.

Baked Custard with Strawberries

Yield: 6 servings

INGREDIENTS

2 1/2 cups milk

3 large eggs

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 3/4 cups fresh strawberries, trimmed and cut into halves if small or quarters if large

1 to 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, depending on sweetness of berries

Optional garnish: Sprigs of fresh mint or peppermint

DIRECTIONS

1. Adjust oven rack to middle position. Preheat to 350 degrees.

2. Place milk in large, heavy-bottomed saucepan. Scald milk on medium-high heat. To scald means to heat below the boiling point. Remove from heat.

3. In large bowl, whisk milk, eggs, sugar, salt, and vanilla to combine. Whisking constantly, add hot milk little by little to egg mixture. If you add the hot milk too quickly, it might curdle THE eggs.

4.. Ladle mixture into 6 (1-cup) custard cups. Place cups in a 9-by-13-inch baking pan. Add enough hot water to the pan to come 1 inch up the sides of the cups. Place in oven and bake 40 minutes or until set; when pressed with a finger it should feel bouncy. Remove cups from water. Cool for 1 hour and refrigerate.

5. Meanwhile, place the strawberries in a bowl and sprinkle with sugar; gently toss and leave at room temperature for 20 to 30 minutes. Toss again; cover and refrigerate.

6. Serve chilled custard topped with strawberries, and if desired, sprigs of fresh mint.

Source: Adapted from “Melissa’s Everyday Cooking with Organic Produce” by Cathy Thomas (Wiley, $29.95)

Award-winning food writer Cathy Thomas has written three cookbooks, including “50 Best Plants on the Planet.” Follow her at @CathyThomas Cooks.com.


Source: Berkshire mont

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