Custard - unlive, cookery school

This is for the Traditional Raspberry Trifle (see Preparation Day 6).

Serves 6-8

Custard - unlive, cookery school
 1 vanilla pod
 10 fl oz (275 ml) double cream
 3 large egg yolks
 1 teaspoon cornflour
 1 oz (25 g) golden caster sugar


Split the vanilla pod lengthways and, using the end of a teaspoon, scoop out the seeds. Then place the pod and the seeds in a small saucepan, along with the cream. Now place the pan over a gentle heat and heat it to just below simmering point. While the cream is heating, whisk the egg yolks, cornflour and sugar together in a medium bowl using a balloon whisk.

Next remove the vanilla pod from the hot cream. Then, whisking the egg mixture all the time with one hand, gradually pour the hot cream into the bowl. When it's all in, immediately return the whole lot back to the saucepan using a rubber spatula. Now back it goes on to the same gentle heat as you continue whisking until the custard is thick and smooth, which will happen as soon as it reaches simmering point. If you do overheat it and it looks grainy, don't worry, just transfer it to a jug or bowl and continue to whisk until it becomes smooth again.

Pour the custard into a freezer box, cover the surface with clingfilm to stop a skin forming and leave to cool. When the custard is cold, cover with a lid and transfer to the freezer. (Alternatively, you can freeze the custard in a freezer bag.)

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