How to make homemade vanilla custard to pour over puddings.
Points to remember
- Heat cream with the scraped seeds from a vanilla pod (if using vanilla extract, add this after you've made the custard). Remove from the heat just as the milk begins to simmer around the edge of the pan.
- Stir egg yolks with caster sugar and then pour the hot cream over the yolks in a steady stream, stirring constantly.
- Strain into a clean, heavy-bottomed pan and heat over a medium heat (be careful not to have the heat too high), stirring constantly until the mixture begins to steam and thicken.
- The custard is ready when you can draw a clean line through it on the back of a spoon, using your finger. Strain into a clean jug and serve hot or cold.
- Don't stir the sugar into the egg yolks too far in advance. It can 'cook' the yolks and cause them to go grainy.
- Keep an eye on the heat when cooking the custard - too low and it won't thicken, too high and you'll have scrambled eggs.
- Stir the mixture constantly, making sure to work the spoon over the bottom of the entire pan.