Posts Tagged ‘custard’


I love recipes that are handed down in families.  My friend, Stephanie, whips up a batch of this decadent chocolate pudding anytime she wants to pamper someone special.  The recipe came from her grandmother, who (as you’ll see by the end of the recipe, transcribed from her recipe card) is quite the funny lady. 

This is a little labor-intensive with all the stirring, but I like to think that earns the cook a second helping. 😉


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Pear Custard Pie Recipe


Here’s hoping pears are still in season, because this pie looks fantastic.  This recipe comes from Taste of Home magazine (my mom subscribes).  Contributor Barbara Rea says, “My daughter CJ baked a pear pie for us once and I’ve made it several times since then. We like it so much that I’ve considered contributing it to bake sales!” (more…)

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I don’t know about you, but I rarely make recipes from magazines.  I’ll sometimes read them for ideas, but that’s usually as far as it gets.  The last one I made was months ago (sweet potato ravioli from Cooking Light), and even then, I “doctored” the hell out of it.  Magazine recipes always seem 1) overly simplified, with too many shortcuts and prepared ingredients to be good, or 2) too complicated, with a bunch of exotic/ridiculous/unnecessary ingredients/appliances and steps.   I prefer cooking blogs because they actually reflect how real people cook.  The one exception would be Cook’s Illustrated magazine, because they test the hell out of their (very good) recipes and do all the substitution/altering you might be tempted to do.

Gripes aside, this recipe is adapted from one printed in the 2004 issue of Real SimpleIt looks pretty standard; maybe I’ll try it sometime soon, while pears are still in season.  It would probably be amazing with some dulce de leche or Sanders butterscotch caramel sauce drizzled over top.

-1/3 c. sugar
-1/4 c. cornstarch
-1/4 tsp. salt
-2 1/2 c. whole milk
-4 eggs
-1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
-2 Tbsp. melted unsalted butter
-2 pears
-2 tbsp. unsalted butter
-2 tbsp. sugar
-ground cinnamon

1. In a medium saucepan, combine sugar with cornstarch and salt. Whisk in milk and eggs until well blended. Over medium-high heat, heat the mixture to simmering, whisking constantly; cook for 1 minute. Remove from heat.

2. Whisk in vanilla and 2 tablespoons melted butter. Pour into serving cups and cover with plastic wrap directly on the surface of the pudding. Refrigerate to chill, about 1 hr.

3. Core and slice pears. In a skillet, over medium-high heat, melt 2 tablespoons unsalted butter. Sauté the pears in the butter for 3 minutes. Sprinkle with sugar and cook, stirring, until the sugar turns golden, 3 minutes.

4. Top each dish of pudding with the warm pears; sprinkle with some ground cinnamon.

Photo credit: Real Simple/David Prince

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Full disclosure: I’m not a big bread pudding fan.  It’s usually so…heavy…bready…and bland (sorry, BP-lovers!).  Give me a chocolate mousse or a strawberry tart any day.  But this recipe, a riff on the recipe from Smitten Kitchen, is the exception to the rule.  It satisfies the part of me that loves pumpkin pie custard and rich, wintery desserts.  It’s also pretty forgiving—I once substituted a lousy cake I’d made for the bread, with great results.  You could even sub in egg nog for the cream, if you still have some lurking in the back of your fridge [blushes guiltily].

-1 1/2 cups whole milk (Or 1 cup heavy cream plus 1/2 cup whole milk)
-3/4 cup canned solid-pack pumpkin
-1/2 cup sugar
-2 large eggs plus 1 yolk
-1/2 teaspoon salt
-1 1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
-5 cups cubed day-old baguette or crusty bread
-3/4 stick butter

Preheat oven to 350F. Put the butter in your intended baking pan (two 8-in. rounds or a 9×9-in. pan work well, but a 13×9-in. might do in a pinch) and stick in the oven to melt while it preheats. Remove from oven.

1.  Toss the bread cubes with the melted butter, dividing evenly between the two pans if you are using more than one.

2.  In a large bowl, whisk together all the remaining ingredients.

3.  Pour liquid evenly over the bread cubes. Toss to coat.

4.  Bake 25-30 min. or until custard is set.


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