A classic, beautiful vanilla Custard that you’ll want to pour over everything! This is a proper version made using egg as a thickener – no cornflour. Also known as Creme Anglaise, you’ll be amazed how easy it is to make, and how stunning a real homemade custard is compared to store bought. It actually tastes like…. well, like custard!
As I started writing up this recipe to tell you how good homemade custard is compared to store bought, I realised that I had never actually bought custard before. So this morning after my daily caffeine fix (shameless coffee addict here), I popped into the supermarket to buy a (small) carton. Just so I could truly describe the difference. Because it’s easy enough to say that homemade is always better. But I didn’t actually know what store bought tasted like.
Having now had my first taste of store bought, I can definitively tell you that there is no comparison. Store bought lacks flavour, it isn’t actually creamy and an inspection of the ingredients showed that it’s made with a thickener, which explains why it lacked the richness that’s so prevalent in homemade custard.
It is NOTHING like this….
Isn’t it beautiful?? It’s quite amazing that something that is made with so few ingredients can transform into something so stunning. Both looks and taste.
“Custard” is a pretty generic term. It refers to a range of desserts and sauces made using egg, milk/cream and sometimes a thickener. You can get custards that are firm enough to hold its shape, like what you get in pies and cakes, firm piping custard (Creme Patissiere) and custard that’s used to pour over things (also known as Creme Anglaise).
This is the pouring kind. Which I simply call Custard because I call every other type of custard something else, not just “Custard”. ?
What to use custard for? Gosh, the list is long!
I think many people associate custard with Christmas pudding. It’s very traditional.
For me though, I use it to doll up many desserts. Like this Apple Cake – a reader recipe which is very popular, and rightly so because it’s so tasty, so moist and so darn fast to make! I make it often because it’s a crowd pleaser and it freezes well too.
Case in point – I had one in the freezer which I pulled out to show you how custard can fancy up a simple piece of cake. 🙂
Pour it over pancakes, with Bread and Butter Pudding (INSANELY good), waffles, crumbles / crisps, puddings, French Toast, use it in trifles.
Or just pour it over a bowl of fruit.
If you put this in front of me at the end of a fancy pants dinner party, I’d be one happy gal. – Nagi xx
A beautiful, classic pouring custard recipe, made the proper way with just egg as a thickener - no cornflour. Also known as Creme Anglaise. This recipe makes 1 1/3 cups of Custard which is enough for 4 - 5 servings. It's quite rich so a little goes a long way! Recipe video below. Picture with the ever popular Easy Moist Apple Cake.
- 1 vanilla bean (Note 1)
- 1 cup / 250ml heavy / thickened cream (Note 2)
- 1/4 cup / 65 ml milk (whole or reduced fat, not zero fat)
- 3 egg yolks
- 1/4 cup / 50g white sugar, preferably caster / superfine
Using a small knife, cut a slit down the length of the vanilla bean then scrape out seeds (see video).
Place cream, milk and vanilla seeds + vanilla bean into a small saucepan over medium heat. When it just comes to simmer, remove and cool for 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, place yolks and sugar in a bowl. Whisk for 2 minutes until it becomes a bit pale.
Remove vanilla pod from milk and discard.
While whisking, SLOWLY pour milk into the eggs. Then pour it back into the saucepan.
Return to low heat (can use medium low if on electric). Whisk regularly for first 3 minutes, then pretty much constantly for the next 5 minutes, or until the custard coats the back of a spoon. You should be able to draw a path (see video).
Remove from heat.
Optional: strain to make extra silky smooth.
Keeps for 3 days in the fridge. Custard will thicken slightly more as it cools to room temperature. Do not freeze. See note 3 for suggested uses.
1. Vanilla bean will give this a truly fabulous vanilla flavour but you could use 1 tsp vanilla bean paste or extract instead. Vanilla essence is artificial so it won't provide as nice a flavour.
Vanilla Beans are a bit of a treat, they start at $6 for 2 beans at the stores (here in Australia). You can get better value online, even from Ebay! It gives the most amazing vanilla flavour to whatever you use, especially when you infuse the milk with the used bean, like in this recipe.
To make the most of it, what I do is rinse then dry the used bean. Then pop it in a jar of white sugar to make vanilla infused sugar. If you use that sugar with a bit of vanilla bean paste or extract, the flavour you get will be as though you made it using a vanilla bean. I find that 1 used bean infuses 1 cup of sugar quite nicely. My stash is ongoing and it's only when I empty the jar completely that I toss out the beans (I have no idea which have been in there for how long!) and start again.
2. I like to use cream with 35%+ fat because it gives the custard richness. However, this recipe will work with cream with less fat, albeit it will need to reduce a bit more to achieve the same thickness.
3. Serve with desserts, over fruit, pancakes, waffles, bread & butter pudding.
Custard recipe video!
Custard nutrition per serving, assuming 5 servings.
LIFE OF DOZER
Don’t fall off your chair in shock….but I think Dozer’s gagging for custard??