On one particularly chilly night in between episodes of The Walking Dead, papa requested custard. I searched through my pantry only to discover a tin of expired custard powder. Bother. A bowl of warm custard was not destined to be eaten that night, however, I thought it was the perfect excuse to finally make my own. From scratch. I turned to trusty old Jamie Oliver because custard is, after all, a traditional English dessert, referred to by the French as crème anglaise, and who better than Jamie to ease me into my first go.
What you’ll need:
500 ml whole milk
565 ml double cream (for those living in Cyprus, the only type of double cream I discovered is Tesco’s at Alpha Mega supermarkets)
6 tablespoons caster sugar
8 egg yolks
1 vanilla pod, scored lengthways
What you do:
Mix cream, milk and four tablespoons of caster sugar into a heavy-based saucepan. Also add the vanilla pod after you have scraped out all the seeds. Add both seeds and beans. Stir with a wooden spoon until it reaches the point of boiling. Turn off the heat and let it cool for a few minutes. This way you are also allowing the vanilla to infuse the mixture and soon you’ll be smelling that sweet aroma.
In a separate large bowl, whisk the egg yolks and the remaining two tablespoons of caster sugar until pale yellow in colour.
Remove the beans from the mixture (you can wash them and reuse them to infuse sugar or milk) and slowly add one ladle of the cream to the eggs. Whisk well then add a couple more ladles until the whole mixture is in the bowl of eggs. Make sure you whisk well with every addition. You DO NOT want the eggs to curdle which they tend to do when they come in contact with hot liquids.
Then pour the yolk mixture back into the saucepan and stir over medium heat. As the eggs cook, the mixture will thicken. You’ll know its ready when its thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. When its shiny and thick remove from the heat and serve hot. Of course you can eat it cold too but I prefer it nice and warm poured over apple or rhubarb pie.
The outcome was heavenly. The custard did turn out somewhat thinner than I was hoping for but I think that is due to the low heat I applied as opposed to medium heat. I feared the mixture would curdle so being too careful brought on a lack of thickness.
The recipe was taken from Jamie Oliver’s Cook With Jamie: My Guide to Making You a Better Cook.