How to scald milk

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Dear Lynne,

My mother passed away last year. I miss her and want to try her recipe for custard. It was my favorite when I was a kid. The recipe calls for “scalded milk.” What is this?

–Mary from Scranton

Dear Mary,

What you’re saying rings a bell. One of the ways I hold on to memories of my mom is through cooking her food.

Scalding is easy, and not considered necessary these days. I wonder if it used to be done to make sure milk was safe. Heat the milk until bubbles appear around the edge of the pan. Then cool it about 5 minutes before slowly beating it into the eggs.

If your mom’s custard is baked, keep it creamy by baking it in a low oven (around 325 degrees Fahrenheit), shield it from any direct heat by lining the pan’s bottom with a kitchen towel before putting the custard containers into the water bath, and know it’s thoroughly cooked by checking it with an instant-reading thermometer. When it reaches 170 degrees Fahrenheit, it’s done. May you enjoy every spoonful. 

-Lynne

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