The Ultimate Guide to Custard and What to Know About It

The Ultimate Guide to Custard and What to Know About It

Published by Emma on 16th May 2022

Welcome to the world of custard! There's nothing like a smooth, creamy custard. Whether you prefer it with your favourite dessert or as a topping for creme brûlée, there's no denying that custard can make any meal better.

But what exactly is "custard"? Well, as it turns out: there are many ways to define it—and just as many types of custards out there. You might think that all this variety would be confusing—but I'm here to help! So, if you're ready to learn more about this delectable dessert ingredient, read on!

What is Custard?

Custard is a variety of culinary preparations based on a cooked mixture of milk or cream and egg yolk. Custard bases may also be used for quiches and other savoury foods.

As you know, Custards are usually baked, but they can also be served cold (as in flan) or heated over steam (as in crème brûlée). They are typically used as desserts or desserts sauces. Still, they can also be found as base ingredients in such dishes as Chinese egg custard tarts, English trifles, Indian kheer, Japanese kanomé cake, and Italian zabaglione. In East Asian cuisine, sweet soups are sometimes flavoured with vanilla custard powder.

What are the Types of Custard?

There are many variations of custard, with each one having its unique characteristics.

  • Refrigerated

Refrigerated custard is one of the most common kinds of custard you will see in stores. It is made with whole eggs, milk, sugar, and flavourings. This type of custard can be kept in the refrigerator section of a grocery store or frozen for future use.

  • UHT

UHT products are not as widely available as their traditional counterparts, and as a result, they tend to cost more.

UHT custard is produced by heating raw milk at very high temperatures and then sealing the product in a container. The process of heating the milk to such high temperatures kills pathogens present in it so that it's safe for consumption. This makes UHT custard suitable for long-term storage without refrigeration—it can be kept at room temperature without spoiling.

  • Powdered

Powdered custard is a dried version of the custard mix in refrigerated cases. It comes in packets mixed with hot water, milk, and eggs to make a creamy, smooth dessert. Powdered custard is less expensive than fresh refrigerated versions and can be used to make large quantities at home. It's great for baking because it gives you control over the thickness of your finished product—you can add more or less cornstarch depending on how thick you like your pudding.

  • Baked

Baked custard is a popular dessert that combines milk, sugar, and vanilla with eggs. It's typically cooked in a water bath as opposed to a traditional oven.

Baked custards are creamy desserts that can be made using eggs or no eggs. Cooks might choose to use whole eggs for richer results or egg whites for lighter ones depending on their preferences and the ingredients available at home. Examples of baked custards include pot de crème and flan.

How is Custard Made?

Custard is a special breed of dessert created by cooking egg yolks with milk, sugar, and other ingredients. Once the mixture has reached a certain temperature, it can be baked or cooked on the stovetop until thickened to create custard's signature creamy consistency.

While many recipes call for vanilla extract as an additive to give their sweetened milk base a little more flavour, some cooks prefer to use vanilla beans instead. If you are looking for an ingredient that will add even more richness than simply using milk alone, consider using heavy cream or crème fraîche in your recipe. It will also help prevent curdling if you're feeling nervous about how long you need your custards to cook!

What Are the Benefits of Eating Custards?

Custards are a delicious treat that can be enjoyed in many ways. Here are some reasons to start eating them!

#1. Custard is high in calcium

Custard is rich in calcium, needed for healthy bones and teeth. It can help strengthen your teeth and bones, making them less likely to decay or break.

#2. As a source of carbohydrates, custard gives you the energy to get through your busy day

Custard is a good source of carbohydrates, which are the body's main source of energy. Carbohydrates can be converted into glucose to help the body function. They are also beneficial for people who exercise or do heavy physical work.

#3. A serving of custard may help you balance your diet

Custard is high in fat and sugar, so it can also give you extra calories. But don't worry! There are some benefits to eating custard that might make up for this extra energy (and fat).

As you know, custard has calcium, which helps build strong bones and teeth. It also contains vitamin A, B12, and D — all nutrients your body needs in high quantities.

#4. Custard can help you get the protein you need to stay healthy

Protein is a part of every cell in the body. It helps build and repair tissues, such as muscles, blood vessels, and skin. Protein also provides energy for your muscles and other tissues to work properly. For example, muscle tissue needs protein to rebuild after it has been broken down during exercise or normal activity at home or work.

In addition to helping you stay healthy and active, protein can also help you lose weight if you are overweight. People who eat more calories than they burn through exercise will gain weight over time if they don't change their diet to keep up with their daily calorie intake. In addition, eating foods that contain high amounts of protein often results in greater satiety between meals which may help prevent overeating later on since most people feel fuller longer when increasing the amount of protein they consume throughout the day compared with other macronutrients like carbohydrates (starches) or fats (fats).

Custards as Ingredients in Other Dishes

Custard is a thickening agent and comes in many forms. It can be used to make puddings, souffles, ice cream, and mousse. It also appears as the base for quiche and as fillings for tarts.

Note: Custards can add depth and richness, making ordinary dishes memorable and delicious. With the wide variety of egg yolks, milk or cream, and flavourings that can be used in custards, they can easily be adapted to suit your tastes—that's reason enough to start incorporating them into your cooking.

Can you eat custard when pregnant?

Unfortunately, you can't eat custard as much as you'd like during pregnancy. This is because listeria is a bacteria that can make you sick if you eat it during pregnancy.

Listeria grows in food that has been left out for a long time or has not been cooked before eating.

You should avoid foods with listeria at all costs if you're pregnant or trying to get pregnant! Food that's high risk for listeria includes:

  • uncooked deli meat, hot dogs, and lunch meat
  • unpasteurized soft cheeses (such as feta)
  • raw sprouts

The Difference Between Custard and Pudding

Custard and pudding are both rich desserts with a thick, creamy texture. But the main difference between the two is that custard tends to be thicker than pudding. To achieve this consistency, you can use either egg yolks or whole eggs—yolks create a more stiff and dense texture while whole eggs create something lighter.

Pudding recipes may also call for baking soda or baking powder to help thicken them up. A common way to make puddings thicker is by adding cornstarch, thickening it without altering its flavour too much. Puddings can also be made thinner by substituting milk with half-and-half (or even heavy cream!) in place of regular milk; the higher fat content will increase viscosity without affecting its taste too much! If you want your custard thicker than normal, try using less cream and more egg yolk instead—you'll get a richer flavour but still keep everything nice and smooth on your palate!

How to Store Custard

It would help if you stored custard in an airtight container, either at room temperature or in the fridge. The latter is optimal, as it will prevent any bacteria from forming on top of your custard and keep it fresher for longer. If you're using vanilla extract or other flavourings that contain alcohol, make sure to store them separately from your custard because those flavours will make it spoil faster.

If you're taking some with you on a trip, don't put them directly into the hot sun! This will cause the milk proteins in your vanilla bean ice cream to thicken and become clumpy. Instead, put it inside another container that's designed for holding liquids—a thermos works well—and then store this second container inside a cooler bag with ice packs until serving time.

Custard filled desserts

Custard desserts can be served cold or warm and sometimes have toppings on tops, such as whipped cream or fruit. These desserts are often made from pastry dough baked in a pan and filled with a rich and creamy filling after it comes out of the oven. Some examples of these desserts include:

  • Cream puffs
  • Lemon curd
  • Fruit tart
  • Pastel de nata
  • Coconut flan
  • Pumpkin pie (with a custard filling)

Wrapping up

I hope you found this guide to be helpful. Custard is available at Niyis, so don't be afraid to try it. You might just find a new favourite food.