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

Lynne Rossetto Kasper

Lynne Rossetto Kasper has won numerous awards as host of The Splendid Table, including two James Beard Foundation Awards (1998, 2008) for Best National Radio Show on Food, five Clarion Awards (2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2014) from Women in Communication, and a Gracie Allen Award in 2000 for Best Syndicated Talk Show.