Update! I’ve had so many requests for the pound cake recipe that is pictured with Mama’s Custard Sauce that I have posted it online as well. Please click here to get the recipe for Aunt Sue’s Famous Pound Cake.
Y’all know I love my mother’s cooking. I know she is my mother and all that, so I admit to being a little biased, but she is also one amazing cook. Often, especially here lately with all of the book stuff, I’ll be doing interviews and people will ask me what my personal favorite dish is. My response is “Anything my mother cooks”. Whenever I go to her house, I find myself looking through her fridge to see if she has leftovers of anything. Anything. Just so I can have some of Mama’s cooking.
This is her recipe for custard sauce that we pour over thick slices of Aunt Sue’s pound cake at Thanksgiving and Christmas each year. It is absolutely sublime and I just can’t imagine a holiday without it. Oh and the pound cake? Well that is another one of my favorites. You see, Aunt Sue makes the best pound cake I’ve ever tasted, bar none. So when it got time to do this tutorial I called her up and said “Reckon you got time to make me a pound cake this week?”
and she did.
If you want her pound cake recipe, it’s in my first book on page 9, along with this custard sauce on page 10. I may get around to sharing the pound cake recipe at some point if time permits, but figured I’d give you a heads up in case you wanted it a little sooner because “time permits” for me may be next week or next decade :).
I know a lot of y’all have this same custard sauce recipe floating around generations of your family, too, because around this time of year I seem to have a constant influx of emails describing it and asking me if I have a recipe. Well guess what? I do, and here it is!
You’ll need a few simple ingredients that you probably have on hand right now: Milk, Salt, Sugar, Flour, Eggs, and Vanilla.
*I’m gonna have to use up this pure vanilla that someone gave me soon because I don’t want to risk hurting my reputation of using cheapie generic vanilla 🙂 I know, I know, a lot of y’all make your own vanilla, import vanilla, and swear that the expensive stuff makes all the difference in the world. I totally believe you and I am absolutely certain you have far more sophisticated taste buds than I do, but it’s okay, I really enjoy my unsophisticated taste buds.
*Also, on the organic milk: I get it because we don’t really drink milk so it is mainly used in baking. Organic milk has a much longer shelf life than regular milk so spending the additional money actually saves me money because I don’t have to throw out milk and buy more.
*FLOUR – This recipe calls for all purpose flour but honestly, you can use self rising if that is what you have on hand. I’d just cut the salt in half if you do. I generally use whatever I grab first 🙂
Place flour, sugar, and salt into a medium sauce pot and whick together to blend. Add in milk and whisk well.
Place over medium heat, stirring constantly.
BUT if you hurry, you can do this next step before that heats up…
Okay, so while that is heating up, crack your eggs real quick and pour off the whites so you are left with the yolks (the orange-y part).
And while we’re talking about it, the whites aren’t really whites, they’re actually clear at this point so they would be more accurately referred to in raw form as “the clears” but alas, I am not the one who gets to make these decisions so they are called “whites”. Which makes sense once you cook them on their own or whip them into a meringue so I can kinda see the reasoning long term, but it doesn’t hold water in this form, which is, actually, the only form in which we refer to them as whites. Later they are called “meringue” or “fried eggs ;)”
Back to our instructions…
I just crack my eggs and pour the yolk into one half and tilt it gently until the white falls off into a cup or bowl below. They actually sell gadgets that separate whites from eggs but this way works perfectly for me. You can also just hold out your hand, palm side up, and spread your fingers apart slightly and pour your egg on top of them. The whites will fall through your fingers and you’ll be left with the yolk.
However you do it, get you some egg yolks and put them in a cup or bowl.
Now go back to your custard and stir, stir, stir, until it gets hot.
Take out a small bit (about 1/2 a cup) and pour it into your eggs while stirring them vigorously to incorporate the hot milk mixture without letting it cook up the eggs.
Now pour this back into the saucepan while stirring rapidly.
Cook a few more minutes until it is thickened.
Stir in vanilla.
Oh have mercy!
Now, mine is smooth and creamy with no lumps but this may not always be the case depending on several factors. So Mama told me to make sure you know that she sometimes pours hers through a strainer when she is done with it to get out any lumps that might have formed. Feel free to do that and no one will know any different.
After straining or if you’re not straining, pour this into a gravy boat and cover with plastic wrap or aluminum foil, pushing down a little so that it touches the surface to prevent a film from being formed*.
Refrigerate until ready to serve.
*If a film does form, just stir it down into there and keep on going. Still tastes good 🙂
When ready to serve, pour over individual pieces of pound cake.
You can also serve this warm if you like, it doesn’t have to be cold. We have always made it ahead of time so we don’t have to do it last minute.
I hope you get to add this wonderful old fashioned custard sauce to your holiday fixin’s!
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup all purpose flour
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 2 +1/2 cups milk
- 3 egg yolks
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Combine sugar, flour, and salt in a heavy medium sauce pot. Whisk in the milk and place over medium heat. Cook, stirring constantly, until just hot.
- In a small bowl, beat the egg yolks until smooth. Add about 1/2 cup of the hot milk mixture to the beaten eggs and stir vigorously.
- Pour the milk and egg mixture back into the sauce pot and cook, stirring constantly over medium heat, until the custard begins to thicken.
- Remove from heat and add vanilla. Pour the custard through a strainer (if you like) and into a small pitcher or gravy boat. Cool, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve.
“Reputation is what other people know about you. Honor is what you know about yourself.”
~Lois McMaster Bujold
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