Jamie Oliver’s Proper English Custard
Posted March 30, 2010on:
This is quite possibly one of my favourite desserts of all time. I’ve always appreciated a nice pint of frozen custard but making custard from scratch was something new to me. It started with my failed attempt to make nanaimo bars with real custard. It was very ambitious considering that the custard layer of a nanaimo bar is usually made out of custard flavoured buttercream. It is almost impossible to achieve the same consistency with real custard. Well, the custard didn’t turn out great either; it was simply not custard-y enough.
I tried the second time and it was perfect! I made this custard using Bourbon vanilla beans, which my foodie friend at A Series of Kitchen Experiments kindly gave some for me to try. Besides the heavenly smell of vanilla, the custard looks so much better with the hundreds of vanilla specks from the bean. Try some of her vanilla beans at I Heart Vanilla.
The warm custard was so smooth and velvety, I couldn’t wait for it to cool down. So I slowly sipped it in my whiskey glass. The weather was a little nippy so it was the perfect drink. I would serve this warm with some English pudding but I didn’t have any. When it was nice and cool the next morning, I drizzled the custard over a scoop of sorbet for breakfast (I’ll post it next time Check it out here). Jamie Oliver would have been so proud of me. =)
Ingredients (yields about 8 cups/2 L)
- 2 cups (500 ml) whole milk
- 2 cups (500 ml) heavy cream
- 6 tbsp granulated sugar
- 1 vanilla bean, scored lengthways
- 8 large egg yolks
- Mix cream, milk, and four tablespoons of sugar in a pot under medium low heat.
- Scrap out all the seeds in the vanilla bean into the pot. Put the beans in the pot as well. Keep stirring with a wooden spoon until it boils and then turn off the heat. Let it sit for a few minutes to let the vanilla infuse with the cream and milk mixture.
- In a separate bowl, whisk the yolks with 2 tablespoons of sugar until pale yellow in colour.
- Remove the beans from the pot and slowly add one ladle of the cream mixture to the yolks while whisking them together. Keep whisking and slowly add a couple more ladles. This process is called tempering and this will ensure that the eggs won’t curdle when they come in contact with hot liquids.
- Pour the yolk mixture back to the pot with cream and milk and stir with a wooden spoon under medium heat. As the eggs cook, the custard will thicken in several minutes. It is thick enough if it coats the back of the wooden spoon. When it’s nice and shiny, remove from heat and pour into a serving cup. You can serve it hot or cold.
(recipe adapted from “Cook with Jamie: My Guide to Making You a Better Cook” by Jamie Oliver)
- Make sure the heat is not too low in step 5. Otherwise, it won’t thicken. I made the mistake for being too careful; I didn’t want the custard to curdle, so I heat it under very low heat. The outcome of the custard was rather disappointing.
- Vanilla is a good flavour to start but try other spices as well such as cinnamon or cardamom.
- Try another english custard recipe from Jamie Oliver magazine here. It’s a delicious hot marmalade pudding served with drambuie flavoured custard.