This time of year there's nothing more lovely than pouring warm sweet custard over your favourite pudding or fruit!
I'm sharing my custard that I perfected about 2 years ago. In fact, last week I made EIGHT litres of it for our little school's Christmas dinner - worked a treat warmed in the crockpot.
I've made this before using coconut sugar - and it's got a real butterscotch flavour to it.
Perfect Vanilla Custard:
1 1/2 cups pure cream
3 1/2 cups full fat milk (I use creamy raw milk)
1/3 cup sugar (or if you want the butterscotch flavour - try some coconut sugar)
1 vanilla bean or 1 teaspoon vanilla paste (I never bother using essence - it just tastes fake to me! - got to be the real deal)
Combine the above ingredients in a medium saucepan and put on a slow to medium heat. Stir periodically and make sure it's not sticking to the bottom.
In the meantime - you'll need:
10 egg yolks
2 whole eggs
I use my stick blender on these to make them perfectly smooth.
Now as you heat you milk, you will want to bring it ALMOST to a boil. When just under the boil whip out the vanilla pod and make sure to scrape all the seeds into the milk. Turn heat down a bit and pour a bit of the hot mixture into your egg mixture to warm it - stir immediately and then tip the lot back into the milk mixture. Stir constantly but gently as it thickens. You do not want it to boil, but you want it to thicken and heat up to cook through. Be careful that you don't overcook it and cause it to curdle. Once thickened remove completely from the heat and tip it thru a fine sieve into a cooling bowl.
I dare you to not take a spoonful to taste before you serve. You won't be able to resist it!
Please note this is a perfect amount for my family of 6, or the perfect base for my ice cream making anglaise escapades - so feel free to halve it if you don't need this quantity.
The other option here is to bake this custard - you do that by making a Bain Marie of hot water and ramekins (be sure to pour in boiling hot water). Goign back in the above recipe... to when you tip the hot milk into the eggs and then the eggs back into the hot milk, take it off the heat, stir it well and pour into prepared cups. Freshly grate nutmeg on the top of all of them and pop into the oven for about 25 minutes until JUST set. Pull out from oven and carefully remove them from the water to cool. Cool completely and then refrigerate. These need to refrigerate for at least 4 hours, so leave yourself plenty of cooling time.
Merry Christmas to you all. Thanks for supporting our family farm with your kind words and support this past year - it's been a HUGE year with our move, and we're just so grateful to you for sticking by us.
Now go and make some merry custard!