How to make the Perfect Custard
When I first started working as a chef, a good custard was the foundation of many of our restaurant desserts. We called it crème anglaise and it was a velvety, smooth sauce made from egg yolks, whole milk, cream, vanilla bean and sugar. You can flavour it with anything you like such as cinnamon, nutmeg, chocolate, citrus, coffee or pistachio.
Poured over a warm Christmas pudding or fresh strawberry trifle, or served as egg nog with an added touch of brandy a dusting of nutmeg. These days I like to make them a little healthier, using less saturated fat and less sugar and that’s a lot kinder to the arteries. This custard is made from a combination of eggs + low fat milk, which are a great source of quality protein, containing all the essential amino acids needed for growth and repair. I’ve given you a few different variations so that no matter what your eating style you’ll pretty much find the right custard for you to serve this Christmas.
500 ml (2 cups /17 fl oz) milk (see note)
2 whole free range/organic eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla bean extract
2 tablespoons organic maple syrup or 1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoons cornflour or kudzu
Heat milk in a saucepan with vanilla and honey and bring to almost boiling point, then remove from the heat.
Beat the eggs and cornflour in a stainless steel mixing bowl until combined.
Pour the hot milk over the eggs and whisk in well.
Pour the egg mixture back into the saucepan and cook over a gentle heat, stirring with a wooden spoon until it thickens and coats the back of the spoon.
Remove from the heat quickly and pour back into the mixing bowl.
Whisk well to cool a little and smooth it out. If you see any lumps then strain through a sieve.
Serve hot or cold and enjoy. Serves 6
To warm up a cold custard, place into a bowl and set it over a pan of simmering water. Stir and heat through gently.
CHOOSE YOUR MILK:
400 ml Rice milk + 100 ml coconut milk combo if you want it richer
NOTE: To make a delicious egg free custard heat 500 ml almond milk with 2 tablespoons honey or 100 % maple syrup + 2 teaspoons vanilla extract until almost boiling. Thicken with a slurry made from 2 tablespoons cornflour, arrowroot or kudzu then add a little nutmeg to finish.
NOTE: for a no cook custard – blend the pulp from 1 mango with 1/2 cup coconut milk and the juice of 1/2 – 1 orange depending on thickness - it’s totally delicious and great in a summer trifle or poured over seasonal fruit such as strawberries or papaya.