Boiled Custard – A Southern Holiday Tradition

Boiled Custard during the Holidays is a long-standing tradition in the South. Damon Lee Fowler, a culinary historian indicates that boiled custard has been a staple in southern kitchens almost since the first boat landed at Jamestown in 1607. I first had boiled custard while visiting a friend’s family in Nashville over Christmas nearly 25 years ago.

Most boiled custard recipes call for whole milk. To lighten up calories and fat, substitute with low-fat milk. If you are lactose intolerant, you can switch to lactose-free milk in place of regular milk with good results. The key to a tasty boiled custard is slow cooking and gentle heat – which is opposite of what the name (boiled) implies. Boiled custard is not the same as eggnog even though they are both plentiful during the holidays. Boiled custard may sometimes be called crème anglais.

Boiled custard may be served warm or chilled. Some drink it from a cup or sip it from a spoon like soup. Either way, be sure to try our very own dairy farmer recipe – Smith Family Custard. If you’re in a pinch for time, you can find it in the dairy case at your local grocery store.

Happy Holidays!

Tracy Noerper, MS, RD, LDN, SNS

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