Boiled custard is the basis of many puddings, ice-creams and sauces. It requires care to get it just right, for the cooking must be arrested at the right point; a moment too soon leaves it too thin, a moment too long curdles and spoils it. It should have the consistency of thick cream, and be perfectly smooth. It is safer to make it in a double boiler. Bring the milk to the scalding-point without boiling; then take from the fire, and pour it slowly into the eggs and sugar, which have been beaten together to a cream; stir all the time; replace on the fire, and stir until the custard coats the spoon, or a smooth creamy consistency is attained; then immediately strain it into a cold dish, and add the flavoring. If vanilla bean, peach leaves, or lemon zest are used for flavoring, they can be boiled with the milk. If by accident the custard begins to grain, arrest the cooking at once by putting the saucepan in cold water; add a little cold milk, and beat it vigorously with a Dover beater. Five egg yolks to a quart of milk will make a good boiled custard, but six or eight make it richer. It is smoother when the yolks only are used, yet the whole egg makes a good custard, and in the emergency of not having enough eggs at hand a little corn-starch may be used.
Boiled custard may be flavored with vanilla, almond, rose, maraschino, noyau, caramel, coffee, chopped almonds, grated cocoanut, or pounded macaroons. The cocoanut makes a delicious custard, but must be rich with eggs and stiff enough to keep the cocoanut from settling to the bottom.