Scalding means to heat a liquid, usually milk, until it almost simmers. Milk specifically will easily boil over and scorch so recipes will generally call for scalding to avoid overcooking.
To scald milk:
- Choose a pan large enough to allow for a few inches of rising.
- Fill the pan with a little cold water, swirl it around, and pour out. The thin layer of water will help to keep the milk from sticking.
- Pour in the milk and cook over medium heat, stir occasionally to avoid scorching.
- Heat just until small bubbles appear around the edge of the pan, remove from heat. Watch the milk carefully at this stage, it can boil over easily.