It’s funny how you can get a mental block about something. In my case, it was custard. I always saw custard being made from Bird’s powder, and even when I moved to the USA I carried on buying it, albeit at a stupid price.
Then, recently, I decided to check out how to make custard from scratch.
Wait… only 5 ingredients?!!? That I already have in my pantry?!! Sign me up!
Combine the first 3 ingredients in a pot. Slowly heat while whisking until the milk is “scalded” (just beginning to bubble at the edges, or a little steam coming off). Take milk off the heat while you whisk the eggs and vanilla together.
Temper the hot milk into the egg mixture – that is, pour a slow stream into the eggs while whisking vigorously. This prevents you making weirdly sweet scrambled eggs, which is not what you are looking for.
Once you have incorporated about half the milk mix into the eggs, pour the egg mix into the pot and cook for a few minutes until it thickens up and coats the back of the spoon.
You should mentally stick a * next to each ingredient after the milk. You can increase or decrease the corn starch/flour to make it thicker or thinner. You can make it more or less sweet. You can make it more or less eggy, or swap out the whole eggs for 4 egg yolks which will make it much more rich and indulgent. You can add more or less vanilla, or other flavourings such as almond. Once you have mastered the basic recipe, go ahead and customise it to your heart’s content.