boiled custard with orange scented pound cake

Bourbon Boiled Custard with Orange Scented Pound Cake

I feel the hard, crusty shell of adulting exterior shed a little when the holidays roll around. I want to be home in Tennessee with my family, just loafing around and soaking up the Christmas spirit. And soaking up the Christmas spirit I will this year with a rich pound cake surrounded by a moat of boiled custard.

If you’re not from the South you may going, “boiled custard, the hell?” After a little research, I learned boiled custard is nothing more than crème anglaise – the creamy, rich base that makes crème brûlée. We probably call it boiled because the custard is actually made in a double boiler.

At any rate, this off-white, wonder sauce makes an appearance every Christmas typically atop a pound cake. I bumped it up a notch this year with a little bourbon. Everything is better with bourbon in my book.


Orange Scented Pound Cake
1 8 ounce package of cream cheese, softened
5 large eggs, room temperature
3 cups granulated sugar
3 sticks butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups cake flour
2 tablespoons orange zest
3 tablespoons fresh orange juice

Boiled Custard
2 cups whole milk, room temperature
2/3 cup granulated sugar
6 large egg yolks, beaten
2 tablespoons bourbon


Make the Pound Cake

1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Grease and flour a bundt pan and set aside. In a small bowl combine zest and sugar to create an orange scented sugar. Set aside.

2. In an electric stand mixer, cream together the softened cream cheese and butter until well combined. Add the orange scented sugar, and beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. On medium speed, beat in one egg at a time, beating for one minute after each egg addition. Occasionally stop the mixer to scrape down sides of the bowl. Beat in orange juice and vanilla extract. On low speed, mix in all the cake flour until well incorporated. 4. Pour cake batter into bundt pan and bake in oven for 1 ½ hours.

Make boiled custard

1. Prepare a double boiler and bring water to a low boil. If you don’t have a double boiler fill a pot less than halfway with water and use a metal mixing bowl fitted to the top of the pot. The water should barely touch the mixing bowl.

2. Pour the milk into the top of the boiler and heat milk until hot to the touch. It should just bubble not boil.

3. In a separate medium bowl, beat the eggs and sugar together until well combined. Temper the eggs by adding 1/4 cup of the hot milk to the eggs and immediately whisk together. Add another 1/4 cup of milk to the egg mixture and combine. Add the egg mixture and bourbon to the milk in the double boiler and stir. After about 5 minutes the egg mixture will be soupy. Let mixture cool a few minutes. Place plastic wrap directly on top of egg custard and place in fridge to cool and thicken. Enjoy a slice of cake with gobs of boiled custard poured on top. You won’t be sorry you did.

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