When one says “custard,” what often comes to mind is the thick, creamy, sweet dessert. While that’s true, it isn’t just that. Technically speaking, the term “custard” encompasses all culinary preparations made using milk, cream, and eggs. So this recipe makes a very basic custard—one that can be used as a simple sauce, transformed into a soft dessert, or mixed in with other dishes (including savory ones!).
To make custard, all you have to do is whisk together two cups of milk, one cup of all-purpose cream, and four whole eggs until no more streaks of eggs remain. That’s it. This recipe uses all-purpose cream because it has a thicker consistency than heavy cream. Plus, it’s easier to find in the supermarket (on top of being the cheaper cream option).
However, as an alternative, you can reduce this three-ingredient recipe to just two ingredients. To do that, replace the milk and the all-purpose cream with three cups of heavy cream. This recipe also uses whole eggs (instead of just egg yolks) since it’s not meant to be a stand-alone custard.
Side note: the temperature of your ingredients doesn’t matter (i.e. no need to chill anything), in case you’re wondering.
How to Use Custard
Once you have your homogenous mixture, you can then prepare it in your desired way. Custards can be cooked on the stovetop, baked in the oven, or heated over a double-broiler (aka bain-marie), among others. This basic custard is great to use with different bread pudding recipes. Just add it to your leftover bread and any other mix-ins.
If you’re making a sweet custard, add a half-cup to a cup of sugar, depending on other flavorings you’re adding (e.g. vanilla). Heat it gently at low heat, stirring constantly so the eggs don’t form into lumps. When it becomes thicker—when there’s a little bit of resistance when you stir, remove it from the heat. It’s ready when the liquid coats the back of a spoon, or if you draw a line at the bottom of your saucepan and it doesn’t run back together. If you don’t have the right consistency yet, return it to the heat and continue cooking, still stirring constantly. You can then use it as a dessert sauce, pouring it over bread, cake, or fruits; or, if it’s thick enough, you can even use it as a dessert filling.
If storing, place the custard in a container with a cover (you can also cover it with a plastic wrap) and store it in the fridge for up to three days.