Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Wednesday’s Helping: What Makes A Custard?

More than just cream and eggs

People may confuse custard with pudding; however, custards almost always contain whole eggs that are used to thicken a mixture of sugar and one or all of the following ingredients: evaporated milk, whole milk, half-n-half, or cream. Traditional custard preparation involves constant stirring of heated milk or cream in a double boiler. Several whole, yet beaten, eggs are usually added one at a time while stirring to prevent clumping of the eggs and ensures the production of a sweet and smooth textured custard. Vanilla extract tends to be the most popular flavor ingredient. If you want to experiment, try substituting vanilla extract with almond, hazelnut, or even cocoa powder. Some custard recipes call for an extra thickening agent, such as cornstarch or tapioca starch. Custards can be rich and thick (like pudding) or smooth and saucy.

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