My grandmother, whom we called "Munna," used to make baked egg custard for her 9 children. My father remembered her making it, but couldn't tell me the exact recipe.
Now that I have a grandson and I am also called Munna, I decided to learn to make this dessert. It is very healthy and extremely quick to make. I have modernized the method. I'm sure my Munna, who cooked on a wood stove, first placed her custard in the very hottest part of the stove, then moved it to the hot part after the first 5 minutes.
We like this served plain, but it is also good topped with fresh berries or fruit syrup.
Preheat oven to 475°F. Butter a 1 1/2-quart shallow casserole dish.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the beaten eggs, sugar, salt, and vanilla. Whisk until well-blended and sugar dissolves.
SLOWLY whisk in the scalded milk, in a thin stream, whisking while you add it. (Hint: scalding the milk in a microwave-safe container with a handle and pour spout makes this step easier.)
Pour mixture into prepared dish, and top with grated nutmeg. Bake at 475°F for 5 minutes. Reduce heat to 425°F and continue baking, about 10-12 more minutes. When done, a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool at room temperature the first hour, then refrigerate.
Another way we like to serve this is in individual ramekins. The short, fat 1/2-pint canning jars also work well. Butter each ramekin, arrange on a baking sheet, and bake as above until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Mixture will fill 6 ramekins.
For an interesting holiday twist on this recipe, use egg nog for half or all of the milk in the recipe.