Every time I make custard I think of this question my dad would ask whenever he would come to visit, “Jeanne Dear, can you make me some custard”. True to his Australian roots and heritage, he loved his custard. Although he loved all of his sweets, custard was by all means his favorite. He could easily eat the whole batch in one sitting if I would let him. It’s funny the things you think of when a loved one has passed on. My dad has been gone 11 years, and I still think of this with both a smile and a tear. So every time I make custard, I know my daddy is close by, just waiting with a big spoon in hand to help eat his favorite dessert.
Aside from the fact that custard was my dad’s favorite dessert, it is also a very versatile dessert. You can enjoy it just plain or with strawberries and/or bananas, or you can dress it up in many different ways. When I make it, I make a fairly large batch of it, so I can use it for other things as well. The other day when I made it, I served it with the left over kourambiethes from when I made my rice pudding and added fresh strawberries and whipped cream, making it like a strawberry shortcake. It is cool and refreshing and with the addition of fresh fruits of the season, it makes a perfect summer time dessert. The Arias port is the port we brought back Mount Felix Winery, in Havre de Grace Maryland.
My recipe for custard is definitely tried and true. I learned how to make it way back when I was in culinary school, from one of my favorite Chef Instructors, Rudy Rosier, a master pastry chef who was originally from Holland. I have made it for many, many years ever since. It always gets rave reviews.
All the things you need to make the custard.
Combine the sugar, milk, salt and butter in a big sauce pan and bring to a scald, making sure all the butter is melted and all the sugar is dissolved. Don’t stir it. Just let it cook on it’s own.
Whisk the eggs, corn starch and vanilla together separately.
Once the milk and butter mixture has come to a full scald, take about 1-2 cups of the hot mixture and add to the egg mixture, whisking it all together quickly as you pour the hot liquid into the cooler egg mixture, so the eggs don’t cook and scramble. This is called tempering.
Add the cool tempered mixture to the rest of the milk and sugar mixture. Continue to cook at a medium heat, whisking the whole time until the mixture thickens. This should only take a few minutes.
Once the mixture has thickened, pour it all into a 9×13 baking dish that has been sprayed with cooking spray and immediately cover with plastic wrap to prevent a “skin” from developing. Once it has cooled slightly, put the custard in the refrigerator for at least a couple of hours to set. Then use your custard however creatively you desire. No matter how you decide to use it, the end result will always be the same – DELICIOUS!
I layered my dessert, starting with the kourambiethes or almond shortbread cookies, then topped them with the custard, sliced strawberries and whipped cream. Dessert was a big hit.
2 sticks butter
6 cups milk
3 cups sugar
1 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla
1 cup corn starch