Basic Vanilla Custard


2 cups milk (at least 2%%, though whole is best)
cup sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
2 eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Combine milk, sugar, and cornstarch in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Whisk until there are no cornstarch lumps remaining.
Keep beaten eggs handy in a small bowl.
Cook milk mixture, whisking occasionally, for 5-8 minutes, until it has scalded. Your cue for this is when the milk starts forming tiny bubbles around the perimeter of the pan and the cornstarch begins to thicken the mixture. Be sure to get into the corners with your whisk--this prevents lumps and burned spots.
Pour about 2 Tbsp. scalded milk mixture into the eggs in a slow, steady stream, whisking all the while. (This step is called "introducing" the milk to the eggs. Go easy. Their amicability toward one another is the key to a perfect custard.) Now return the saucepan to the heat. Pour the egg mixture into the milk mixture in a slow, steady stream, whisking quickly to avoid finding unsavory strings of egg in your custard.
Cook about 2 more minutes, or until custard has thickened and perhaps just begun to bubble. Do not overcook or boil it.
Remove pan from heat and whisk in vanilla extract.
Best eaten straight off the stove. If you must chill it, remove custard to a Tupperware container and cover the surface with a piece of plastic wrap to keep it from forming a skin on top.




A scrumptuous yet simple to prepare custard. This is classic English comfort food. You can pour it over stewed fruit (guavas and peaches are fantastic choices), drizzle it on bread pudding, create a trifle by layering it with fresh berries and cubes of pound cake, or simply slurp it straight.


4.0 servings


Friday, January 28, 2011 - 11:59pm


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