Vanilla custard

Vanilla custard

By
From
The Tivoli Road Baker
Makes
approx. 600 ml
Photographer
Bonnie Savage and Alan Benson

This is a light custard and not too sweet, making it the perfect filling for our doughnuts and fresh fruit tarts, and for finishing our Viennoiserie. This is the custard you want to eat with poached fruit and crumble after dinner on a cold evening, or with fresh berries in a tart case for a quick delicious dessert during summer. Rather than dominating with a rich, sugary custard, it lets other flavours shine through and plays a supporting role.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
500g full-cream milk
1 vanilla pod, seeds scraped
or 1 teaspoon vanilla paste
6 egg yolks
60g caster sugar
40g plain flour

Method

  1. Combine the milk and vanilla (seeds and pod) in a heavy based saucepan, and bring to a simmer over a medium heat. Remove the vanilla pod.
  2. While the milk comes to a simmer, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar in a medium sized bowl, until slightly pale. Add the flour and whisk to combine.
  3. Pour the milk over the egg mixture, whisking constantly as you go to avoid scrambling the eggs.
  4. Return the custard to the saucepan and cook over a low heat for around 5 minutes, stirring constantly to avoid burning. Alternate between using a whisk and a spatula, as described above. The custard will become thick, and just start to bubble. As soon as this happens, remove it from the heat and strain the custard through a fine sieve into a clean bowl. Lay a piece of plastic wrap over the surface to avoid a skin forming, then refrigerate the custard to cool it completely. This custard will keep for 3–5 days in the fridge.

Bakery notes

  • If you like your custard very thick, just cook it out for a bit longer than specified. Stir it continuously and be careful not to leave it unattended, to avoid it sticking and burning.

    You can use this recipe as a vehicle for other flavours by infusing the milk as you warm it. Fig leaves, lemon verbena, cinnamon and citrus rind are all excellent options.
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