Another Intriguing Recipe

March 31, 2015

A Taste of the Past

Been perusing old cookbooks this morning, just for the sheer pleasure of it.  I came upon this recipe, that I have to try soon, before the snow melts and it's too warm for filling food.  But to me Onion Custard looks like a wonderful substitute for Creamed Onions, which always drive me crazy; peeling onions is tedious work, and the result never seems quite worth.

This, on the other hand, looks easy, although I'm not sure I'd include the bacon.  (If you get to it before I do, please let me know how the onions come out.)


Fanny Todd Mitchell's Onion Custard

1 pound white onions

1/2 stick butter

4 tablespoons heavy cream

3 eggs

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

salt, pepper

1 strip lean bacon.

Peel onions and let stand in cold, salted water for 1 hour. Slice them and saute in butter until soft; don't brown.  Cool them and preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Beat eggs, add cream. Season with nutmeg, salt, pepper and mix with onions.  Pour into buttered casserole or baking dish. Slice bacon in tiny strips and lay on top. 

Bake until the custard is thick, about 20 minutes. 

Serves 6.


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  • Lynn McBride says:

    Great recipe. And speaking of old cookbooks, a friend just gave me some back issues of Gourmet, the oldest one is from 1976. The recipes range from the exotic (lamb’s tongue salad à la Greque) to the strange (Mussels in scallops shells) to the sublime (Strawberry Vacherin with Raspberry sauce, Orange Caramel Sauce, and Crème Anglaise). Plus a long treatise on watercress. How I miss it!
    Lynn at

  • Ruth Reichl says:

    Those old copies of Gourmet are becoming increasingly appealing now that Conde Nast seems to have taken – and all the old articles it contained – down. Reading through those back issues is kind of like going back in time; an edible history of America.

  • Kathy Strahs says:

    I was intrigued as well! Just pulled it out of the oven a few minutes ago, with a few tweaks (I shared a photo on Instagram: ). 🙂 I used brown onions and decided not to soak them. I cooked them with 3 strips of bacon (no butter) that I’d cut into lardons, and went ahead and let the onions caramelize a little. I also added a tablespoon of chopped fresh thyme. I kept with the same amount of eggs and cream, although next time I think I’ll double everything to fill the 8×8 baking dish a bit more. I was really happy with how it came out (even if I did stray a bit from the original)!