I was never a big custard fan. Not that I didn’t like it, but I’d never really been exposed to it. Obviously I’d had the odd lemon meringue or banana cream pie, but the idea of using custard as a topping was totally new to me until I moved in with Harriet, my soon-to-be awesome custard loving, doorknob disinfecting roommate and friend. Harriet is a custard fiend. The girl will eat custard like some people will eat yoghurt. And you know what? She is on to something.
Custard is really easy to make. It’s all about simple ingredients. Milk, cream, sugar, eggs, and vanilla. Some cornstarch or flour if you don’t want to use half a dozen eggs. What you get in the end is simply delicious. Creamy, a bit sweet, and perfect with breakfast foods. A custard topped waffle piled high at fruit at Cora’s with Harriet and Genevieve was a revelation of deliciousness.
And the revelation doesn’t stop there. You can add custard to so many things. Fill pastry with it. Mix it with fruit. Make a trifle. Branch off into pudding or pie. Fill a cake. Or a doughnut. Or several doughnuts. Or muffins. Or a spoon. Seriously. Custard is incredibly versatile, and if it wouldn’t keep my pants from fitting, I would always have a gallon in my fridge.
Classic Homemade Custard
½ cup sugar
3 tbsp cornstarch (double if you are planning on filling a pie; this is more of a sauce consistency)
Pinch of salt
1 cup whole milk
½ cup heavy cream
½ cup cereal cream (or just more whole milk)
3 egg yolks, beaten
Whisk the sugar, cornstarch, and salt together. Add a bit of milk, whisk to create a paste, and stir in the rest of the milk and cream.
Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until it begins to thicken. Once it is about as thick as ketchup, spoon a bit of it into the egg yolks and whisk constantly as you add it. The idea here is to warm the egg yolks without cooking them so you can add them back to the custard and not have little bits of cooked egg yolk in your custard.
Slowly add the egg yolk/custard mixture back into the main pot, stirring constantly. Continue stirring and cooking for another five minutes or so, until the custard has thickened some more (meaning the egg yolks are cooked).
Serve warm or chilled in a wide variety of ways. Yum!