Comfort food at its best -- bread custard

Sometimes it seems like there are so many things going on that I want to write about that trying to fit them in this column in a timely manner is difficult.

I hope everyone has tried to make it to the farmers market in Mills Park on Wednesday afternoons. The produce, fruit and flowers have been great. I know it's been hot, and sometimes it seems like such an effort, but once you get there, it's well worth it.

Ralph and I ate dinner at the market last week. Michelle and Dan Palmer, the area representatives for Tail-Gate Kitchens, were selling a terrific dinner of Hawaiian beef, grilled pineapple, macaroni salad, pineapple cake and a their special punch for $7.

How relaxing it was to place our order, do our shopping, then sit on the lawn and enjoy our dinner. I saw Candy Duncan, from the Convention and Visitors Bureau. She ordered her dinners to go, and they were ready for her to take home after she finished her shopping.

If you do a lot of tailgate picnicking, then you have to check out the kitchen that fits on the back of your pickup. All you Wolf Pack fans should make a point to check it out.

Also, FYI, if you missed the market and wanted to pick up some fresh veggies or a couple of bouquets of flowers, Smith and Smith Farms will be in the parking lot of Adele's from 3:30 to 7:30 every Thursday evening. They do not have any corn just yet. This is Nevada - the corn is not ready!

The other item I wanted to mention is the sale of Sierra Bakery. Steve and Gizella Reisinger have owned the bakery for more than 21 years.

Like so many things in our lives we take for granted, maybe Sierra Bakery was one of them.

It was and still is a gathering place for lots of locals. I have been buying their cinnamon bread for almost 20 years.

They plan on just taking it easy and spending some time with their grandchildren then do a little bit of traveling once the weather cools off. I wish them and the new owners, the Diazes, the very best.

This recipe I want to share is an old standby that I have been making for years and was a staple at Marrone's. I have always used the cinnamon bread from Sierra Bakery in this recipe.

You can leave the bread out, in which case it would be just a baked custard. Or if you had some leftover white rice, you could put about a cup in the bottom of your baking dish and it would be a rice custard. This is comfort food at its best.

6 cups milk (scalded)

8 eggs (farm fresh is best)

1 cup sugar

2 teaspoon vanilla

5 slices cinnamon bread, cut up

Dash of nutmeg

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees. Put the cut-up cinnamon bread in the bottom of a 2-quart baking dish with high sides. Beat eggs in large bowl (I use a rotary hand-held beater for this task).

Add sugar and vanilla. Pour in the hot milk a little at a time, but not all at once or you will cook the eggs. Mix well and pour egg mixture through a strainer into your baking dish.

Dunk the bread in the custard a little and sprinkle with nutmeg. Bake in a hot-water bath (put your baking dish in a 9-by-13-inch pan into which you have poured boiling water half way up the side).

Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Then uncover and bake for 30 more minutes or until a knife inserted into your custard comes out clean and the custard is set.

Be sure and refrigerate the custard after it cools if you are not going to eat it until later.

You can also cut this recipe in half and adjust the baking time to about 45 minutes.


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