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Old-Fashioned Boiled Custard

Puddings and Sweet Deserts

Egg-yolk custard with lemon and almonds (Acton 1845)

Original Receipt from 'Modern Cookery for Private Families' by Eliza Acton (Acton 1845);

Throw into a pint and a half of new milk, the very thin rind of a fresh lemon, and let it infuse for half an hour, then simmer them together for a few minutes, and add four ounces and a half of white sugar. Beat thoroughly the yolks of fourteen fresh eggs, mix with them another half-pint of new milk, stir the boiling milk quickly to them, take out the lemon-peel, and turn the custard into a deep jug; set this over the fire in a pan of boiling water, and keep the custard stirred gently, but without ceasing, until it begins to thicken; then move the spoon rather more quickly, making it always touch the bottom of the jug, until the mixture is brought to the point of boiling, when it must be instantly taken from the fire, or it will curdle in a moment. Pour it into a bowl, and keep it stirred until nearly cold, then add to it by degrees a wineglassful of good brandy, and two ounces of blanched almonds, cut into spikes; or omit these, at pleasure. A few bitter ones, bruised, can be boiled in the milk in lieu of lemon-peel, when their flavour is preferred.

Take a small cupful from a quart of fresh cream, and simmer the remainder for a few minutes with four ounces of sugar and the rind of a lemon, or give it any other flavour that may be preferred. Beat and strain the yolks of eight eggs, mix them with the cupful of cream, and stir the rest boiling to them: thicken the custard like the preceding one.

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