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Can someone tell me how to make 'real' custard?

(24 Posts)
Biscuitsandtea Tue 04-Oct-11 18:47:55

Just wondered how you make 'real' custard, and how hard is it really? What are the pitfalls?

Thanks x

stealthsquiggle Tue 04-Oct-11 18:48:57

Carefully (is how you make real custard) - and with a double boiler.

ElderberrySyrup Tue 04-Oct-11 18:50:36

very slowly.
The pitfall is that it might curdle.
The most important thing is to realise it won't end up as thick as some of the stuff you buy, so don't keep going on too long.

Blueberties Tue 04-Oct-11 18:50:57

I've made real custard just in a pan with milk.

Ahem and a sieve ready for the lumps.

But if I were to make it again I'd need to look it up.

eggs, vanilla, sugar, milk.. can't remember the rest

Biscuitsandtea Tue 04-Oct-11 19:35:03

What's a double boiler?

This sounds a bit hard for me.....

I shove egg yolks, a bit of corn flour, vanilla and sugar in a pan, whisk it to a paste and then add milk and heat it very slowly whisking all the time. It's only curdled once and that was when dd needed to have a cuddle just as it was nearly finished. I can't hale you with measurements because I just chuck it all in though.

stealthsquiggle Tue 04-Oct-11 19:40:01

double boiler - otherwise known as pyrex bowl over pan of boiling water - the coward's way to avoid curdling.

I think cornflour would be considered cheating by purists.

'hale' would = 'help' if I hadn't been drinking!

Ahh but is does make for an easy life!

Biscuitsandtea Tue 04-Oct-11 19:43:05

So in a simplified way, your paste method is a wee bit like making it from custard powder but you make the paste yourself. That sounds a bit manageble... Maybe.....

Am aiming to make a crumble at the weekend so might try it (perhaps with an ambrosia back up in case of a last minute disaster blush)

Will make sure DH is on hand in case DS needs an emergency cuddle at the crucial moment.

I just think I would look so accomplished come Christmas day in front of my Mum and MIL if I could whip up my own custard..........

ElderberrySyrup Tue 04-Oct-11 19:45:03

you could use cornflour and a double boiler until you're confident, and then once you know what you're doing you could do it in a saucepan with no flour, in an effortlessly cool kind of way.

Biscuitsandtea Tue 04-Oct-11 19:45:06

Ah but the purists would be too ashamed to speak to me at all once they knew I'd been using <whispers> ready made custard, they'd maybe be pleased with my cornflour?

I think one step at a time - I'll perhaps try that to start with.

Oh and a pyrex bowl over hot water I can manage - what an accomplished kitchen I have with a double boiler and everything grin

ElderberrySyrup Tue 04-Oct-11 19:46:28

it's one of those things that is very empowering when you realise you can do it because everyone else will be going 'real custard, oh that's far too difficult for me!'

Biscuitsandtea Tue 04-Oct-11 19:47:07

That's got to be my target for Christmas day Elderberry smile

I also have to have mastered doing the whole process nonchalantly while chatting and sipping on glass of something bubbly (non alcoholic as I'll be sporting a 6 month bump by then)

ElderberrySyrup Tue 04-Oct-11 19:47:54

you could be terribly modest, 'Oh, it wasn't that difficult, I used cornflour!'.

ElderberrySyrup Tue 04-Oct-11 19:48:41

exactly. Nonchalance.
And actually it's easy to be nonchalant when you have a tin of Ambrosia in the cupboard.

It really isn't that bad to do. I put off making it for years because everyone told me it was easier to buy it but then I discovered that it's easier to make it than to not have any when dh has a crumble craving grin

Roughly: 4 egg yolks, 1tbsp corn flour (it is cheating but it works), 2-3 tbsp sugar and 2-3 tsp vanilla extract. I then put in enough milk for the quantity I need and heat it. If it doesn't thicken enough mix another 2 tsp of corn flour with a tbsp of milk and throw it in and continue heating while whisking. If it isn't sweet enough chuck a bit more sugar in. If it isn't vanillary enough chuck a bit more vanilla in.

When it's as thick as you want it put the pan in an inch of ice cold water to stop it cooking.

Good luck!

Or, chuck a tin of Ambrosia in a pan, whisk it over the heat for a bit and smile sweetly grin

Biscuitsandtea Tue 04-Oct-11 20:07:32

Thank you grin

I do love a plan A and plan B too - - not to self though remember to leave empty egg shells and vanilla pods lying around for plan B....

Good thought!

Biscuitsandtea Tue 04-Oct-11 20:11:35

On the vanilla front, could you use vanilla pods instead?

I've never actually used a vanilla pod (ever!) but think it would look cool to have the vanilla specks? To do that, do you just slit the pod and scrape out the seeds? (is that what they're called?). And how much vanilla poddage equals 1tsp of essence?

I'm thinking that way people will think it's 'proper' (or burnt!)

If I use vanilla pods I scrape out the seeds of one but also chuck the pod in as it has a lot of flavour - just don't forget to take it out before you serve it.

SexyDomesticatedDab Wed 05-Oct-11 10:55:09

Nigella custard works - make sure you have a good hand whisk too as this can help to cool it / stop it curdling

Biscuitsandtea Mon 10-Oct-11 12:43:52

So, I tried the nigella custard yesterday and it worked - it actually tasted and looked like real custard and DS enjoyed it which is a good sign.

I did it with vanilla essence this time but would one vanilla pod be the right strength for custard or would I need less / more?

How many pods = a few drops of essence?

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