Should I Scald My Milk When Making Quiche Or Custard?

If you’re in the kitchen testing your culinary skills again and wonder "should I scald milk when making quiche or custard?", then wonder no more. The answer is a definitive yes and the reasons are easy to understand once you start the process. And yes, real men do eat quiche and custard since both are rich, delicious and very filling.

  1. How do I scald milk? The process is very simple. To scald milk, heat it to the point where the milk starts to steam and tiny bubbles form on the side of the pan or microwave safe container. Don’t boil the milk.
  2. Why should I scald milk anyway? You might even wonder, "isn’t the milk already safe, why cook it more?" When milk is pasteurized, it’s heated enough just to kill harmful bacteria. Pasteurization doesn’t change the proteins and enzymes in milk the way scalding the milk does. Scalding milk is not for the purpose of sanitizing the milk in any way. 
  3. You should scald milk when making custards for this simple reason: less "skin" forms on the custard after it cools. If you’ve watched someone cook homemade pudding, you might already be familiar with this cooking term. As cooked puddings, custards and sauces cool, a film or "skin" forms on the surface. This is reason for cook books instructing that plastic wrap be placed on the surface of custard and pudding as it cools. Covering the surface and using scalded milk will form a thinner "skin" on the custard.
  4. You should scald the milk when making quiche and custard to aid in the cooking process. Quiche and custard dishes require a lot of eggs. It’s the milk and eggs base that make quiche and custard so smooth and creamy. If you add cold milk to the eggs and then start the heating process, the milk will take much longer to heat than the eggs will take.

Eggs start to cook at a low temperature and will set up before the milk heats. The results will be lumpy or curdled custard or quiche. Instead you’ll add a small amount of the scalded milk into the eggs and then add the eggs into the remainder of the scalded milk to cook them slowly. This will keep the consistency creamy and unlike scrambled eggs.

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