JOANNA'S FOOD: family cooking, from scratch, every day

Saturday, November 28, 2009


I'd forgotten, til I made it in front of an audience of about 200 at the NEC on Thursday, how easy it is to make custard. If you use a double boiler, which takes longer, you don't have to stand and stir continuously.

As custard is the unctuous basis of many a good pud - trifle (which is what I'm making today), ice creams - it's worth taking a little trouble. And not much point in using cornflour: eggs will thicken the custard without the kind of help food manufacturers resort to.

Here, I'm following Fergus Henderson's recipe (from Nose to Tail 2), which has too much sugar for my taste - I'd halve it, unless it was going to be the basis of an ice.

The main problem with making your own custard is the amount of washing up it generates, even if you double up. A couple of saucepans, endless bowls, wooden spoons - and now I'm reminded why so many sieves hang in my kitchen.


450ml milk (you could use cream if you wanted)
2 whole eggs
2 egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla essence
85g sugar

Heat the milk and vanilla essence. Beat the eggs and sugar and strain into a large bowl. When the milk is almost at boiling point, strain it into the egg mixture, stirring vigorously to prevent the mixture from curdling. Now put the bowl over a pan of boiling water. At this point, you can let it alone to a considerable extent; it will need only the occasional whisk.

When it's as thick as you'd like, cool it by pouring it into a bowl.


portiafaceslife said...

Thanks for the reminder. I often make a little baked egg custard, which my mother taught me when I was a child, but I'd forgotten how lovely & rich a 'boiled' custard is.

Also, I'd forgotten the extra egg yolks - no wonder when I tried to make lemon butter recently (which is a variation of custard), it didn't thicken sufficiently.

How brave, cooking in front of 200 people!

Joanna said...

I used to make baked custard when I was first married, but I haven't done that for years ... thanks for the reminder.

Funnily enough, all those people receded into the background when getting on with the task of finishing on time! It was good fun