When I was little, growing up in the small southern town of Raleigh NC, my Granny lived in a bungalow house with a wrap-around porch on Glenwood Avenue. Holidays were magical at her house. She cooked all day and made things like ambrosia, biscuits, fudge, and boiled custard in big mason jars.
I remember drinking the sweet chunky drink only on special occasions.
This year I decided to find the recipe, add a little of our Fair Game Brandy and see if I could channel Ruby. I did and it was pure decadence.
For my cousins, here is the recipe:
· 1 quart (4 cups) whole milk (I picked up Lilly Den’s pet milk)
· ½ cup granulated white sugar, divided
· 5 large egg yolks
· 2 tsp vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
1. Whisk the egg yolks and ¼ cup of the sugar in a mixing bowl and set aside.
2. Combine the milk and the remaining sugar in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Heat on medium until just starting to steam, but do not allow it to boil.
3. Scoop out about ½ cup of the heated milk mixture and drizzle it into the egg yolks while whisking constantly. Then slowly pour the egg and milk mixture back into the saucepan.
4. Cook, stirring frequently, until the mixture thickens a little and coats the back of the spoon. If you use a candy thermometer, you want the mixture to reach 160F but not exceed 175F. This step usually takes about 20 minutes.
THIS IS PART OF THE PROCESS…a bit zen.
5. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla extract or vanilla paste.
6. NEW NOTE: If the egg mixture was tempered correctly, the custard shouldn't contain lumps, but if it does, simply use a fine mesh strainer to get them out.
(**I actually love the lumps…Granny had lots of lumps and it was delicious**)
7. Chill thoroughly before serving. Maybe even put in the freezer for 20 minutes.
8. Pour small amounts (it’s very rich) in fancy glasses and add a splash of Fair Game Brandy and a dash of cinnamon.