HomeLocal FarmingBaked Custard

Baked custardWe all want a treat sometimes. I do too, but I want it to be nutritious as well as delicious whenever possible.  Well, here’s one that’s both and we don’t need to feel guilty enjoying it–Baked Custard.  My family and I like it warm or cold and even without the added spice, just plain custard!  Another good thing about this treat–although it takes an hour to cook, it only takes about 5 minutes to get it ready for the oven.  Here’s the recipe:

3 eggs, from pastured chickens
1/4 cup local raw honey or organic maple syrup
1 teaspoon organic vanilla
2 1/2 cups raw milk
organic ground nutmeg or cinnamon

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (or 350 for cups).

Beat eggs, honey or maple syrup, and vanilla with a wire whisk. Stir in milk. Pour into aCustard with berries glass baking dish or six custard cups. Sprinkle with nutmeg or cinnamon. Set the baking dish(es) in a pan of hot water.  Bake large dish at 325 degrees for 1 hour; bake cups at 350 degrees for 40 to 45 minutes. The custard is done when a knife inserted off-center comes out clean.  Serve warm or cold.  I like it with berries.

Variation:  add 1/4 to 1/2 cup of unsweetened, shredded coconut with other ingredients before baking.

Recipe Source: Whole Foods for the Whole Family, La Leche League International Cookbook, 1981

The 1981 La Leche League Cookbook was in many ways unusual in its day, when most people had turned away from traditional foods (e.g., margarine instead of butter) and traditional child care (e.g., formula instead of nursing).  Although the cookbook doesn’t specify using organic foods or raw milk, it does use whole foods and minimal, natural sweeteners. This is a cookbook I have used since nursing my three children many years ago.  Many of the recipes can still be included in a healthy, traditional diet today with a few substitutions.   The preface begins “Whole Foods for the Whole Family is a cookbook for families who wish to eat whole foods processed as little as possible.”  What’s not to like about that?

Raw milk is, of course, best uncooked, but if occasionally you have some extra milk and you want a treat, this is one of the best, and it’s delicious and nutritious.  Even cooked, unprocessed milk is still far superior to processed milk.

For sources of raw milk go the the Local Resources page on the Houston-Galveston WAPF chapter website.


Baked Custard — 10 Comments

  1. I looked at the recipe for Pantry Pudding you provided the link to, and I really like the goals and achievements noted on the Sustainable Eats blog. With that said, you are right to be concerned about using corn starch. Also the amount of sweetener seems high to me when there is only an additional 1/2 cup of milk. The baked custard recipe uses only 1/4 cup of honey or maple syrup, which my family finds makes the custard sweet enough to be satisfying. Honey and maple syrup are somewhat sweeter than sugar, but I don’t think they’re 3 times sweeter. Also, it’s not clear if the sugar, milk, and cream are raw and unprocessed. Processed sugar and pasteurized, homogenized (especially homogenized) milk, even if organic, should be avoided. Other advantages to the baked custard–no thickener is needed, fewer ingredients to measure (less prep time), and whole eggs can be used, not just the yolks. Although the baked custard requires more actual cooking time, the total time until ready to eat is probably not much different if the required refrigeration (to thicken) is added to the actual cooking time of the pudding recipe–the baked custard can be eaten immediately if you like your custard warm, which we do. Only leftovers, if any, get eaten cold.

    As for the corn starch, you might be able to substitute organic arrowroot for the corn starch. And certainly raw cream can be substituted for some or all of the milk, which I plan to try soon.

  2. This is a fab recipe, thanks for posting it – so quick and easy no heating beforehand. Although sometimes I do steep the milk with sweet cinnamon sticks and vanilla beans if I have some extra time (sometimes a few cardamom pods as well). I use half the amount of maple syrup that you use in the recipe. If anyone in the family would a little more sweet they can drizzle a bit of maple syrup on top.

    This makes a really great breakfast and snack. I’ve been making it in my small glass pyrex storage dishes that have lids and we take this when we have a long day out and about. The perfect snack to keep those trips to a less than nourishing restaurant away!

    Also – duck eggs make this really great if you can find them! I’m guessing the temperature the custard gets to in this recipe probably doesn’t negate all the goodness in the raw milk. It still tastes better than regular milk. Sometimes however, I simply make the mix and don’t bother cooking – like eggnog for breakfast.

    Cheers – happy whole traditional eating!

  3. Pingback: Could You Give Up Sugar? | Real Food Houston

  4. Personally I think cooking it pasteurizes the milk and destroys the enzymes. I put the recipe in a blender and drank it raw. Wonderful. As a bonus, the prep time goes down to one minute.

    • I’m glad you like it raw. Cooking it does destroy the enzymes, but this is just for an occasional treat. For everyday, it would be best to drink it raw like you did. I drink a raw kefir smoothie with raw egg yolks most mornings.

  5. I have been cooking from Whole Foods for Whole Families since 1993!! I love that cookbook! Such great recipes and not many take much tweaking. I threw out the ones with soy, but other than that, it is a great reference and cookbook!
    I also love their tapioca recipe with raw milk and maple syrup. It is a good one too!

  6. Very interested in more raw foods and just plain healthy eating. If we don’t get back to basics this world will get scary!

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