FRIED CUSTARD SQUARES WITH BERRIES
Found in a library book for deep fry cooking – title/author/year lost
- 2 cups milk
- Zest of 1 lemon, removed in strips with vegetable peeler
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 6 large egg yolks
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup cornstarch
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs
- 2 cups fresh Italian breadcrumbs, preferably from day-old bread
- Vegetable shortening or oil for deep-frying
- 3 cups assorted fresh berries, such as raspberries, blueberries, and sliced strawberries
Lightly butter an 8X11 inch glass baking dish. In a medium saucepan, bring the milk, lemon zest, and cinnamon stick to a simmer over low heat. Let stand for 5 minutes. Remove and discard the lemon zest and cinnamon.
In a medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks, sugar, and cornstarch together. Gradually whisk in the hot milk. Rinse out the saucepan and return the custard to the pan. Stirring constantly with a wooden spatula, bring to a boil over medium heat. Stir in the vanilla. Strain through a fine-meshed sieve into the prepared dish and smooth the top.
Place piece of buttered waxed paper directly on top of the custard, buttered-side down, and pierce the paper a few times to allow the steam to escape. Place on a wire rack and let cool until tepid. Refrigerate until firm and chilled, at least 4 hours or overnight.
Remove the waxed paper. Hold a baking sheet over the dish and invert them together to unmold the custard onto the sheet. Cut the custard into 12 equal rectangles.
Line a baking sheet with waxed paper. In a shallow bowl, beat the eggs well. Place the bread crumbs in another shallow bowl. Coat each custard rectangle evenly with the eggs, then the bread crumbs, patting to help the crumbs adhere. Place on the waxed paper.
Preheat the oven to 200. Line a baking sheet with paper towels. In a deep Dutch oven, melt vegetable shortening over high heat to a depth of 2-3 inches and heat it to 365. In batches, without crowding, deep-fry the custards until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Using a slotted spatula, transfer the custards to the paper towels to drain, and keep warm in the oven while frying the rest. Serve immediately, garnished with the berries.