10 tablespoons uncooked cream of wheat (2 ½ min cooking)
1 teaspoon vanilla
Hot water, see instructions
1 stick cinnamon
¼ lemon, cut in wedges
Ground cinnamon, optional garnish
Maraschino cherries, optional garnish
Warm milk in a heavy saucepan; add ¾-cup sugar, salt, and the butter. Over medium heat, bring milk to a low boil, stirring frequently to prevent scorching (do not boil over). Remove pan from heat and gradually whisk in cream of wheat, stirring rapidly to prevent lumps. Return pan to heat, stir constantly, bring back to a boil; boil 1 minute.
Remove cream of wheat from heat and cool 10-20 minutes while oven preheats. Stir cream of wheat occasionally to prevent a crust from forming on top. Mixture will thicken as it cools.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Butter sides and bottom of 9x9 square pan, set aside. NOTE - if using a glass baking dish, lower oven temperature to 350 degrees.
Beat eggs and vanilla until frothy and slightly thickened. Gradually stir eggs into warm custard mixture; stir until eggs are thoroughly mixed. Pour custard into prepared pan; smooth top and slightly shake to level custard in the pan. Bake 40-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean and the color is golden brown.
While custard is baking prepare syrup. Combine remaining 1-cup sugar and ¾-1 cup hot water in a small saucepan. Partially squeeze lemon in syrup water, then drop the lemon peel in; break cinnamon stick and drop in water. Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve sugar. Once mixture comes to a boil and sugar is dissolved, reduce heat to low. Cover and cook to 210 - 218 degrees (syrup at this stage will fall in a thin stream from a cold spoon).
Remove cooked custard from the oven and baste with warm lemon syrup. Start basting from corners (syrup will puddle to the center of the custard); pause for syrup to soak into custard. Continue basting until all syrup is used. Cool custard completely; cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Cut into squares. Serve garnished with optional sprinkled cinnamon and maraschino cherry on each square.