Relive the past and enjoy making custard at home. This step-by-step tutorial, packed with tips and tricks, will have you dipping your spoon in a perfectly baked crème brulee within no time.
What is custard, and how do you make it?
The perfect time to indulge in creamy custards is at Christmas. Custard is made from milk, sugar, and eggs, sometimes flavored with vanilla beans. It can be served hot or cold. It is delicious but also significantly affects other sweet dishes like creme caramel or brulee.
Custard that is creamy and smooth
Two types of custard exist. Stirred custards can be cooked in a pan until they are thick but liquid. Baked custards usually are baked in an ovenproof dish in a bain-marie or water bath until it is set. Custards can be found in most supermarkets. Homemade custard can be an excellent budget-friendly option. It does not contain preservatives or additives. Homemade custard is made with ingredients you can find in your pantry, and it tastes creamier and more decadent than custards bought.
What you need
You will need the following ingredients in your kitchen to make creamy and smooth stirred custards.
Large saucepan for heating custards stirred.
The wooden spoon is used to mix the custard while it cooks.
The custard can be strained using a large, fine sieve.
Pour the custard into a large jug and pour it into ovenproof dishes.
A bain-marie is a roasting pan used to cook baked custards.
Tea towel to protect baked custards against the heat of the pan.
How to bake the custard
Line the bottom of a roasting dish with a tea towel for perfect baked custards. Pour the custard mix into each ramekin. Pour boiling water into the pan until it reaches halfway up the sides. Bake until custards just set. The water bath or bain-marie protects the custards against the direct heat from the bottom of the roasting tray so that they don’t overheat.
How to make smooth, creamy custard stirred
Stirred custard can be cooked in a large pan over medium heat. Stir continuously with a wooden spatula until the custard becomes thick and coats your spoon. Starting helps to distribute heat, preventing the custard from becoming too hot and curdling. If you can leave a trace on the back of your spoon by drawing a finger, then the custard should be ready.
After stirring the custard in a pot, strain it through a fine mesh sieve and pour it into a jug. It removes any egg bits that have not been appropriately combined and makes the custard as smooth as possible. This is also a great way to save your custard from curdling if it is starting to overcook. Making baked custard is also a recipe that requires straining. Stain the egg mixture before cooking to ensure your baked custard turns smooth.