Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Good old Custard

I personally have a problem with  custard which comes from a packaged boxes. The taste has synthetic flavouring and it makes me really offended that this humble creamy rich deliciousness becomes a synthetic offender. Custard needs the love of silky yellow egg yolks and the  blend of milk and sugar to make it delicious as it was meant to be. It needs to be thickened with cornstarch if desired and well this humble dessert has great potential. It is a delicious filling for pies. Taken with freshly fruits and dried fruits it makes it an amazing treat . If frozen it becomes a beautiful frozen custard.

I had once noted from a site that ladies in the old times used the yolks alone leaving out the whites since that alone makes one reach the rich creaminess .

One basically needs the following ingredients for custard:

6 egg yolks
1 litre of full cream milk
6 tablespoonful of sugar which you go no to grind
2 tsp heaped cornstarch
1 tablespoonful of butter
Chopped assorted fruits and dry fruits

One has to beat the egg yolks to a creamy consistency with the sugar, (It is better to give the sugar a grind in the mixer grinder) and cornstarch. While one beats the yolks one should warm up the milk and reduce it a bit for extra creamy custard. Adding a bit of butter ensures that the milk does not get stuck to the bottom of the utensil in which you warm it up.

Once the milk is cool enough so that it doesn't scald the skin but is still warm one should carefully mix it with the yolk sugar-cornstarch mixture pouring it a little at a time  making sure no lumps are formed. Once beaten well it has to be put back on the stove and cooked while constantly stirring the mixture. One must make sure that the eggs do not scramble. It would reach the creamy consistency within minutes and so one should keep an eye on it.

Once the texture and consistency reaches the desired thickness it has to be cooled and then you can take a deep based fruit bowl or a trifle bowl if you are lucky enough to possess one and alternately layer chopped fruits and custard. It makes a better dessert if the fruits are chopped in tiny bite sized pieces. I usually use bananas, apples, grapes, pomegranates and dry fruits such as almonds, cashew nuts, different kinds of raisins, dried apricots. One can decorate it in as many ways as one wants.

Important tip

For the final cooking of the custard use a double boiler instead of direct heat which increases the chances of fast cooking and might lead to a scrambled custard.