Separate egg yolks from egg whites making sure not to get any yolk in the whites. Place the whites in a bowl which has a good lid, if possible, as you're going to be refrigerating the custard in this bowl when it's all done. Whatever you use, just be sure it's totally free of any kind of grease at all, or the whites will not beat up properly. Beat the egg whites until they are stiff. Set aside.
Beat the egg yolks in a small bowl and them set aside.
Combine sugar, flour, salt, and nutmeg in a saucepan and stir in the milk. Stir the beaten egg yolks into the milk mixture. Mix well.
Cook over a medium-low heat while stirring constantly. Be sure to stir all the way to the bottom of the saucepan to keep the milk from scorching and the eggs from scrambling.
When the mixture has thickened, remove from burner, and add slowly into stiffly beaten egg whites while stirring constantly. Stir in vanilla. Allow to cool at room temperature, then refrigerate in a tightly covered container.
Served with fresh strawberries, it makes one of the best desserts I can think of.
I usually double this recipe, all except the eggs. I only add 2 extra eggs when I double, and it works just fine.
Source: My mother had this recipe hand-written on a lined page from a tablet and kept it in a box with other "receipts" and notes about cooking. To my knowledge, she never owned a cookbook in her life.
When our large family of aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents got together, the ladies, and sometimes the men, would enchange recipes and other tidbits of cooking information they'd "discovered". It took me a while to be able to understand some of the "shorthand" she used when writing down the things she wanted to remember.
A pinch of this, a handful of that, and a smathering of something else went into Tea Cakes, Egg Salad, and Goulash alike. They were measurements that she understood, but I had to learn for myself.
By Julia from Boca Raton, FL
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