Here are a few tips from Lebovitz on how to make custard:
*Before getting started, prepare an ice bath to quicken the chilling of the custard. This means a lot of ice and a cup or two of water so the cubes are just barely floating.
*Heat the milk or liquid in a medium-sized saucepan on the stove using a nonreactive cookware, such as stainless steel.
*In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg yolks.
*The next step is to temper the yolks. This is a part where you need to be careful. Once the milk and is hot and steamy, slowly and gradually pour the milk into the egg yolks, constantly whisking so the egg yolks don't become cooked and you have eggy bits. David advises to remove the saucepan from the heat and ladle the liquid in whisking constantly.
*Scrape the warmed egg yolks back into the saucepan and then stir the custard over moderate heat using a heat-proof spatula or straight-edged wooden spoon. Cook, stirring nonstop, until the mixture thickens and coats the spatula. Be sure to scrape the bottom while stirring. Do not let the custard boil!
*You will know the custard is done when it begins to steam and you feel it just beginning to cook as you scrape the spatula across the bottom of the pan. You can test it by running your finger across the spatula coated with custard: it is done when your finger leaves a definite trail that doesn't flow back together.
*You can check for doneness with an instant read thermometer; it should read between 170 and 175 degrees Fahrenheit.
*Immediately pour the hot mixture through the strainer into the chilled bowl of cream in its ice bath and stir. Once cool, refrigerate thoroughly.
*If your custard does boil or curdle, you can rescue it by blending it while it is warm with an immersion or standing blender.
Here are the ingredients for David Lebovitz's Cinnamon Ice Cream, makes 2 quarts (which is double the original recipe):
-2 cups whole milk
-1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
-2 pinches of salt
-Twenty 3-inch cinnamon sticks, broken up
-4 cups heavy cream
-10 large egg yolks
To begin, warm the milk, sugar, salt, cinnamon sticks and 2 cups of cream in a medium saucepan.Once warm, cover and remove from the heat, and let steep at room temperature for 1 hour.
In the meantime, separate eggs and whisk egg yolks in medium bowl.Pour the remaining 2 cups cream and place mesh strainer on top. Prepare ice bath.Rewarm the cinnamon infused milk mixture. Remove the cinnamon sticks with a slotted spoon and discard them.
Slowly pour or ladle the warm mixture into the egg yolks, stirring constantly to prevent eggs from cooking. Then scrape the mixture back into the saucepan.
Stir the mixture constantly over medium heat with a heatproof spatula, scraping the bottom as you stir, until the mixture thickens and coats the spatula.
Pour the custard through the strainer and into the cream. Stir over ice bath until cool.I needed to scrap the bottom more, but the custard still turned out fine.Chill the mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator, then freeze it in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions.
Serve with alone or with your favorite fall pie.