This rich dessert sauce is adapted from a recipe by nineteenth-century cookbook author Hannah Mary Bouvier Peterson.

Other recipes for boiled custard can be found in contemporary cookbooks, indicating that its popularity has not lessened over time. It can be served with desserts such as bread pudding or apple pie.


  • 1 quart half-and-half
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 6 large eggs, well beaten
  • 2 teaspoons rose water
  • Directions

    1. In a saucepan, combine the half-and-half with the sugar. Set over medium heat, and stir until the sugar is dissolved and the milk is scalding (just below the boiling point). Remove from the heat.

    2. Whisk 1/2 cup of the hot cream into the eggs. Reduce the heat to low, and blend the egg-and-cream mixture into the hot cream, stirring constantly to prevent the eggs from curdling. Continue stirring until the custard thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon.

    3. Remove the custard from the heat, and stir in the rose water. Pour the custard into a pitcher, and set aside to cool to room temperature. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Warm slightly before serving.

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