Mabel's Boiled Custard That Isn't Boiled


As part of their ongoing Southern Recipe Restoration Project, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution recently asked its readers to send in their family custard recipes. Chef Anne Quatrano chose a recipe sent in by Peter Gordy, an Atlanta marketing consultant from Toadsuck, Arkansas; here's the story behind Mabel's Boiled Custard That Isn't Boiled:

For as long as I can remember, a woman named Mabel worked for my Aunt Eula [Dunaway], one of those great Southern ladies you never saw in pants and [who] always wore a big hat whenever she worked in the garden.

Mabel had no trouble disciplining my cousin Nancy, who lived across the street, or any of us that played on the block. But if we were good and didn't wake Aunt Eula during her afternoon nap, Mabel would make us kids boiled custard. She said her grandmother taught her how to make it. The custard was never boiled, and she served it cold over sliced bananas. And always with a sprinkle of nutmeg. Heaven in a bowl.

I didn't grow up eating custard, boiled or otherwise, but boy do I love it now—my custard delivery method of choice is banana pudding, but really a good custard is delicious no matter how you eat it or what you eat it with.

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