Pudding - Custard 

This recipe is the simplest, and does not use sweetened condensed milk. Thanks to a helpful blog post for the convincing and thorough instructions.

How to Make Baked Custard:
~Scald the milk. This means you’ll heat the milk until it reaches 180 degrees, near boiling. Many old recipes call for this process. It is not necessary to scald milk for safety reasons any longer due to the pasteurization process. However, scalded milk does give the custard a little bit of a smoother texture, so I do recommend taking the time to scald the milk. I made the custard both ways and even my non-professional taste testing could tell that the scalded milk custard had a smoother texture. You can scald milk in the microwave or in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. You’ll watch for the milk to start steaming and bubbling around the edges. Stir the milk constantly to prevent a film forming on top of the milk. If  you don’t have a thermometer to test the temperature, remove the milk from the heat right before it comes to a boil.
~Temper the eggs. You have near-boiling scalded milk. You’ll want to pour 1 cup of that milk ever so slowly into the eggs, whisking the entire time. It is so important to drizzle slowly and whisk constantly. If you don’t, you’ll end up with  pieces of cooked eggs. Which is not going to make for a creamy custard.
~Bake the custard cups in a hot water bath. What does a hot water bath do? It prevents the custard from curdling or cracking. Egg-based desserts need to cook slowly at a low temperature to keep a creamy texture, and the hot water helps to do just that. How do you make a hot water bath? Put a pot of water on the stove over medium heat and bring it to simmering, not a rolling boil. Place the custard cups in a large baking pan with sides that are nearly as tall as the custard cups. Pour the hot water around the custard cups, being careful not to spill any water into the cups. You want the level of the hot water on the outside of the cup to be just at the level of the custard. Oh…and be careful when placing this heavy baking pan into the oven. Don’t let that water spill onto your custard mixture!
Warm to 180*:
7 c whole milk NOT unpasteurized milk, it just won't be consistent and smooth.
1 c heavy cream

Whisk gently:
8 eggs
until well mixed.

Gently but thoroughly whisk in:
1 c sugar
1 t salt
1 T vanilla

Slowly drizzle a cup of the milk into the egg mixture whisking constantly. Whisk in the rest of the milk in a steady stream also whisking constantly. Maybe finish with the immersion blender, or not.

Pour into baking dish:
pie pans
french white baking dishes
individual custard cups
Maybe hold back some to fill them after putting them in the oven.

Put them in a larger dish and put in the oven. Fill larger dish with hot water.

Top off the custards with the reserved mixture.

Sprinkle with nutmeg.

Bake at 350* (not convection) 35-60 minutes depending on their size.

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