Vanilla custard is a creamy dessert sauce or filling that is made from a mixture of milk or cream, eggs, sugar, and vanilla flavoring. It’s a classic dessert component commonly used in various culinary applications such as pastries, cakes, tarts, and other sweet treats. The primary ingredients and the cooking process give custard its smooth and velvety texture.
Here’s a basic recipe for making vanilla custard:
- 2 cups milk or heavy cream
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 4-5 large egg yolks
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
- In a saucepan, heat the milk or heavy cream over medium heat until it’s just about to boil. Remove from heat and set aside.
- In a mixing bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar until the mixture becomes pale and slightly thick.
- Slowly pour the hot milk or cream into the egg yolk mixture while continuously whisking to temper the eggs. This prevents them from curdling.
- Pour the mixture back into the saucepan and cook over low to medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon or silicone spatula. The custard will gradually thicken.
- Keep cooking and stirring until the custard coats the back of the spoon or spatula and leaves a clear trail when you run your finger through it. Do not let it boil, as this can cause the eggs to curdle.
- Once the custard has thickened, remove it from the heat and strain it through a fine mesh sieve to remove any possible curdled bits or lumps.
- Stir in the vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste to flavor the custard.
- Allow the custard to cool slightly before using it as a topping, filling, or sauce.
Vanilla custard can be served warm or chilled, depending on the intended use. It’s a versatile dessert base that can be enjoyed on its own or combined with various other desserts to enhance their flavor and texture.
Image from Spend with Pennies