Everything’s better with custard

Custard is miracle food.

Slightly sweet, milky-creamy, a teeny touch eggy. For me, custard can lift all but the worst of moods.

It stressed me a bit at first, making custard. I think it was the fear that if I messed up and over-cooked it, that would be an entire box of eggs wasted and no eggs left in the fridge for a second attempt.

I’m just about over that fear now.

Whereas I normally quite like to experiment and play around with classics, when it comes to custard, I’m a bit of a traditionalist. Custard should be vanilla flavour…it just works. It works brilliantly. Why mess with something brilliant?

I do, however, quite like ginger, love ginger, even. And so, last weekend, I made an exception and made ginger custard.

Now ginger custard doesn’t top vanilla custard, because that would be impossible and ridiculous. But ginger custard is still very, very good. (It is still custard after all!)

We had ginger custard with ginger and pear cake.

And ginger custard with plum crumble.

And I had ginger custard spooned straight from the bowl near enough every time I opened the fridge, which is possibly the best way there is to enjoy custard.

Last weekend was a very happy one.

Custard is like therapy…and suddenly all those egg yolks seem like excellent value for money!

Ginger custard

  • 375ml whole milk
  • 125ml double cream
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 25g sugar
  • 1 tbsp syrup taken from a jar of preserved stem ginger (alternatively use 50g sugar and an extra tsp ground ginger
  • 1tsp ground ginger
  • 2 tsp cornflour
  1. Heat the milk and cream in a saucepan until it just starts to simmer. Take off the heat.
  2. Whisk together the egg yolks, sugar, ginger syrup, powdered ginger and cornflour until well mixed.
  3. Gradually pour the warm milk/cream mixture onto the egg mix, whisking constantly.
  4. Place the mix in a clean saucepan. Set over a gentle heat and warm slowly, stirring all the time, until the custard starts to thicken. (It will seem like nothing is happening at first and you will be tempted to turn the heat up, but be patient and don’t stop stirring. Scrambling point comes not long after thickening point,  so you need to be ready to remove the custard from the heat, especially if the mixture looks like it’s about to start boiling.)
  5. Pass the custard through a sieve into a bowl or jug (this will remove any little scrambled lumps that may have sneaked in there).
  6. Serve straight away or cover with cling-film,  so that it touches the surface of the custard, to prevent a skin forming.
  7. Allow the custard to cool then store in the fridge, where it will last for about three days. If you do want to reheat the custard, do so very very gently, possibly even in a bowl set over a pan of just simmering water. Heat it too much and it will seize up and split and scramble and just be generally nasty. Which is upsetting. I speak from experience.
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