Wait. Hang on. I know what I need. I need, I need, I need fish fingers and custard.The Eleventh Doctor, The Eleventh Hour, 2010
Every Whovian associates custard with the Eleventh Doctor. It’s undeniably his favorite snack, paired with crispy fish fingers. While most humans may scrunch their noses in disgust, we can agree that the odd food pairing does make the Doctor quite happy. I mean, look at that smile 𖠰
This week is dedicated to Eleven. The 10th anniversary of the beginning of his reign is April 3rd. As much as I love talking about Eleven, I’m going to save most of my speech for this Friday. Today, lets talk custard.
Custard has a long history in European cuisine. The term custard is actually more of an umbrella category for a wide variety of consistencies. Traditionally, custard is composed of eggs, milk and sugar.
Custard with a thinner, pourable consistency is specifically called crème anglaise and is often used for dipping. Sometimes custard is thickened with flour or cornstarch; then it is sometimes referred to as pastry cream (crème pâtissière). When adding the cornstarch, you want to make sure it is completely sifted. Cornstarch can be very finicky so I sift it twice: once when measuring, and again as I’m adding it. I put a strainer over the saucepan and whisk gently as the cornstarch falls through the sieve. Do not skip this step, or it will clump together, making the end product lumpy. No bueno. You also want to make sure that the yolks and milk are room temperature. We slow cook the custard here, so starting cold will prevent total emulsion, also leading to lumpy custard.
Custard is incredibly versatile, with tons and tons of uses. These include:
➶︎ Banana cream pie ➶︎ Crème brûlée ➶︎ Bavarian cream
➶︎ Tart filling ➶︎ Boston cream pie ➶︎ German buttercream
And that’s just scratching the surface of what this creamy concoction can be used for. It’s sweet and perfectly vanilla, but there’s plenty of room for other flavorings. Play around with it! Let me know what you create! Geronimo!
Tʜᴇ EASIEST ᴄᴜsᴛsʀᴅ ʀᴇᴄɪᴘᴇ ʏᴏᴜ’ʟʟ ᴇᴠᴇʀ ɴᴇᴇᴅ! Fɪᴠᴇ ɪɴɢʀᴇᴅɪᴇɴᴛs, 10 ᴍɪɴᴜᴛᴇs ᴀɴᴅ ʏᴏᴜ’ʀᴇ ᴅᴏɴᴇ!
Gʀᴇᴀᴛ ғᴏʀ ғɪʟʟɪɴɢs, ᴛᴏᴘᴘɪɴɢs ᴏʀ ᴏɴ ɪᴛs ᴏᴡɴ!
Yɪᴇʟᴅ: 1 ᴄᴜᴘ
- 2 egg yolks, room temperature
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup milk, room temperature
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 4 tbsp cornstarch, divided and sifted (make sure there are NO lumps)
- In a small saucepan, beat the egg yolks. Add milk and sugar and beat until combined and sugar is dissolved. Turn heat on medium low. Whisk lightly until bubbles start to form and the mixture begins boil.
- As the mixture boils, continue whisking as it thickens. Add sifted cornstarch, one tablespoon at a time. Make sure the cornstarch is completely sifted. You do not want clumps.
- When the mixture is thick enough to evenly coat the whisk but still drips, remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature.
- Pass custard through a strainer into a glass container. Cover with plastic wrap, directly on the surface of the custard to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate at least three hours before using, or up to one week.