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Old 04-15-2004, 01:00 AM   #1
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Funny custard

I love making egg custard...very simple egg custard and I have no problems with it when I make it in the ramekins.....however....

When I try to make in in a big bowl I fail miserably! Have done the hot water bath, non hot water bath, very simple recipes, every book I have! (and I admit to collecting cookbooks like a fiend)

When I make it in a big bowl it looks like it's curdled - tastes good but the texture is awful and it's weepy.

Hubby has this fixation on custard in a big bowl...can anybody help?

signed, curdled in Portland

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Old 04-15-2004, 09:18 AM   #2
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When you say your husband wants custard in in a bowl, is he looking for a large amount or does he prefer a deeper custard?

A bowl is a tricky shape because of the thin edges and deep middle. If your husband just wants a lot of custard, try going with a larger amount spread out evenly. A glass lasagna pan in a water bath is your best bet.

Changing the shape of the custard container stated by the recipe complicates things a bit. The deeper the container, the lower the cooking temp, the longer the time. Even if you cook it at a very low temp, it's still possible to leave it in for too long and curdle it.
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Old 04-15-2004, 01:08 PM   #3
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Funny Custard

Thanks! That the shape of the bowl would cause this didn't occur to me. It is the deeper custard that he prefers. Would it work if I used a square shaped bowl...like a Corning Wear then lowered and temp and lengthened the cooking time? Should I still use the water bath? Thank you so much, Scott!
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Old 04-15-2004, 03:27 PM   #4
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Anything flat-bottomed should work, but it's best if it has a high surface:volume ratio and, as was already mentioned, thicker walls. (A deep bowl with a small surface area and high volume will be VERY difficult to cook evenly.)
The water bath is probably even more important when going with a single container. You may also need to tweak your proportions a little bit for a larger volume - I know when we make rice custard pudding (see the Smorgasbord recipes under "ethnic") in individual portions instead of a big casserole dish, we use one less egg. why, I'm not sure, but it seems to help keep the consistency right! So maybe something like that might help.
Good luck!
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Old 04-15-2004, 03:30 PM   #5
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or maybe go with a stove-top custard that would just be finished in the oven? more pudding-like?
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Old 04-15-2004, 08:47 PM   #6
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Thank you! I'll try your suggestions!
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Old 04-16-2004, 04:51 AM   #7
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Re: Funny Custard

Quote:
Originally Posted by lindatooo
Thanks! That the shape of the bowl would cause this didn't occur to me. It is the deeper custard that he prefers. Would it work if I used a square shaped bowl...like a Corning Wear then lowered and temp and lengthened the cooking time? Should I still use the water bath? Thank you so much, Scott!
Is this a Corning Wear 8x8 or 9x9 pan? If it is, that should work fine. And yes, definitely the water bath. Custards don't like sudden changes in temperature. The water acts as an insulator, allowing for a very slow gradual increase in temp. If you really want to master this, you might want to invest in a digital probe thermometer that has an external monitor. That way you can have a constant reading of the middle of your custard and avoid cooking it too long. Once you use the thermometer once, you should be able to follow the same time/temperature for that recipe/container for future batches.
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Old 04-16-2004, 12:10 PM   #8
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Excellent suggestion, Scott! I have one and will use it.
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Old 04-16-2004, 01:45 PM   #9
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Since you have a digital thermometer, I was thinking you could probably craft a little stand out of aluminum foil so that the point of the probe hits the middle of the custard. Just like roasting meat, you want the probe in the center of the item. The piece of foil will make a mess when you pull it out, but I don't think it will affect the flavor of your custard.
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Old 04-16-2004, 03:03 PM   #10
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Another idea for the probe is to use one of those winged paper clipsl, the clip goes onto the edge of the bowl and the probe goes through the wing...now if I can just get it to balance Alton Brown used one some time ago to suspend a probe in a pan.
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