Put your hand up if you buy custard...
... well after seeing how easy it is to make your own, you'll never buy it again. The home-made version tastes better and is much less expensive. You don't even need custard powder! Take a look at the ingredients panel of any bought custard and you'll see it's pretty simple stuff. Milk, starch, vanilla... and so on. As for the different types, we're really just talking different proportions or types of ingredients.
Here's my basic recipe:
These instructions are for one litre of custard. Double, triple or quadruple quantities of ingredients as required.
- Saucepan or microwave-safe jug or bowl
- Small bowl or cup
- Storage container
- 1 litre milk
- 1 tbsp cornflour
- 1 tsp vanilla bean paste, vanilla extract or vanilla essence
- 3 tbsp caster sugar
- 3 drops yellow food colouring (optional)
Mix the cornflour in a cup with enough of the milk to make a runny paste.
Bring the other ingredients to the boil in a medium saucepan, stirring constantly, or microwave on high in a microwave-safe jug or bowl, until steaming.
Add the paste, continuing to stir with a whisk. Simmer or microwave for 1-2 minutes, stirring frequently until thickened.
Refrigerate until required.
Once chilled, this is just like store-bought pouring custard.
To make thick custard, double the amount of cornflour.
To make gourmet custard use half cream and half milk or even all cream - decadent!
To make chocolate or brandy-flavoured custard, add cocoa powder or brandy essence to taste. Add a little at a time. You can always add more, but you can't take it out once added!
For skim milk custard use skim milk in place of full cream milk.
This is also great made with any powdered milk and you can't taste the difference!
*This recipe was an SS newsletter contribution in October 2010. I'm reproducing it here for easier access.