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Basic Stirred Custard

in Diana's Recipe Book

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Servings: Makes 1 1/2 to 2 cups
What is Custard?

Custard is a pudding like dessert (made with a sweetened mixture of milk and eggs) that can either be baked or stirred on the stove top. Custards require slow cooking and gentle heat in order to prevent separation (curdling). For this reason, stirred custards are generally made in a double boiler; baked custards in a water bath. A safeguard when making custard is to remove it from the heat when it reaches 170 degrees to 175 degrees F on a candy thermometer. Custards may be enhanced with various flavorings such as chocolate, vanilla, fruit and so on. Stirred custards are softer than baked custards and are often used as a sauce or as an ice cream base.

This recipe is for stirred custard which will never get quite as thick as baked custard.

This basic homemade custard can be eaten alone with cookies or wafers, poured over fresh fruit, or drizzled over cake or gingerbread or can be used as a filling for tarts and pies. Custard has many variations and you can be quite creative with your recipes using it.

1 cup (8oz./235mL/226g) whole milk
1 vanilla bean
4 egg yolks
1/4 cup granulated sugar

Reserve 3 tablespoons of the milk. Place the remaining milk and vanilla bean in a saucepan. Bring almost to the boil.

Remove from the heat and leave to stand for 15 minutes to allow the vanilla to infuse the milk.

Place the egg yolks, sugar and reserved milk in a bowl. Beat until thick and creamy. Remove the vanilla bean from the milk and pour the milk into the egg mixture.

With a sieve, strain the mixture into a heavy based saucepan and cook on medium low heat, stirring, until the custard thinly coats the back of a spoon and is about the thickness of heavy cream. Be careful not to let the custard come to a boil or it may curdle.

Pour into a chilled bowl. If serving custard cold, place plastic wrap over bowl and chill for at least 2 hours in the refrigerator. The custard will thicken as it it cools.

Makes 1-1/2 to 2 cups.

Source: DianasDesserts.com
Date: May 21, 2007

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