Sunday, April 8, 2012

Italian Custard

My mom has been making this custard for as long as I can remember.  This is her recipe.  I remember her always making this to fill her cream puffs that she called choux (pronun: shoe).  I always thought as a kid, why does she call these shoes???? Then I realized later in my baking days that it was how they call cream puffs in French although we are Italian.  LOL!

My mom would make this and it would be cooking up and I would watch her turning the custard on the stove waiting for it to thicken up.  You can smell the lemon and vanilla.  It was so comforting and I couldn't wait to lick the lemon rinds.  I would also beg to just have a little bit of the custard when it was still warm.  Mmmmm, how it takes me back.

To me it was always perfect.  She always hit it spot on.  Now that I make it I think I make her proud that I only make her recipe.

So here is the recipe....

Italian Custard
2 Cups Milk
1/4 Cup sugar
2 Egg Yolks
1 Egg
1/4 Cup Cornstarch or All Purpose Flour
1/3 Cup Sugar
1 Teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
Lemon Peels from 1 Lemon
2 Tablespoons of Butter

In a heavy saucepan, stir together the milk and 1/4 cup of sugar. Bring to a boil over medium heat.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and egg. Stir together the remaining sugar and cornstarch; then stir them into the egg until smooth. When the milk comes to a boil, drizzle it into the bowl in a thin stream while mixing so that you do not cook the eggs. Return the mixture to the saucepan, and slowly bring to a boil, stirring constantly so the eggs don't curdle or scorch on the bottom. Add Lemon Peel if desired.

When the mixture comes to a boil and thickens, remove from the heat and remove lemon peel.

Stir in the butter and vanilla, mixing until the butter is completely blended in.

Pour into a heat-proof container and place a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate until chilled before using.

This makes about 2-3 cups of custard.  Usually enough to fill about a dozen large cream puffs, 12 inch fruit tart and great to fill eclairs.

If you are looking for an old world Italian style custard to fill pastries or to even just enjoy alone, this is it.  I use this to fill cakes and serve in glasses topped off with some whip cream!  Yum!

Dolci Sogni, (sweet dreams)

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