Stirred Custard--Key to Deliciously Easy Desserts

Updated Jul7 22, 2017

Stirred Custard--Key to Deliciously Easy Desserts | GlutenFreeHomemade.com

Simply elegant . . . that's what stirred custard is.  Better still it is naturally gluten-free and easy to make.

Across Europe, this popular dessert sauce is commonly served with in-season fresh fruit.

New Englanders call stirred custard cream filling when used to fill a Boston Cream Pie or Cream Puffs.

Others know this delicate pudding as soft custard and use it to garnish other desserts.

Among the most beautiful of culinary creations, full of flavor and satisfying, custard is a wonderfully low sugar health building dessert.

When I'm in a hurry to make a last minute treat for unexpected guests, stirred custard is my go-to recipe, because I can dish up a sweet experience with virtually no little effort by using one of the variations below and still serve a spectacular dessert.


How to Make Perfect Stirred Custard

To prevent scorching, over-cooking or curdling the sauce, always cook stirred custard in the top of a double boiler.

Stir constantly with a wooden spoon while cooking to prevent mixture from curdling and to keep custard from scorching on bottom of the pan.

If custard begins to curdle, quickly remove from heat and beat with an electric hand mixer until smooth.

Temper the eggs to make them safe to consume by cooking until the temperature of the mixture reaches 160° Fahrenheit.

Then, cook a little more, until the custard thickens nicely.

When done, the custard will sheet a metal spoon with a coat of silky sauce.

Serve stirred custard in decorative dessert dishes garnished with whipped cream or as a sauce served over the top of fresh fruit, stewed fruit, cake or other desserts.


Stirred Custard

Stirred Custard

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Time:  20 to 25 minutes, 2 to 3 hours chill

Servings:  4 servings

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Fill the bottom of double boiler with water, enough so the water does not touch the bottom of the top pan of the double boiler.
  2. Bring the water to a simmer.
  3. In the top of the double boiler, beat eggs until lemon colored.
  4. Stir in sugar, salt and milk until combined.
  5. Cook over simmering water, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, about 15 to 20 minutes, until the custard thickens nicely and sheets a metal spoon with a coat of silky sauce.
  6. Cool quickly by placing top of double boiler in a sink or bowl filled with ice water.
  7. Stir until custard is cool.
  8. Stir in vanilla extract.
  9. Pour custard into a small mixing bowl and carefully cover surface with plastic wrap to prevent "skin" from forming, and then refrigerate until chilled through, about 2 to 3 hours.
  10. To serve, spoon custard into decorative dessert dishes.

Variations

Almond Custard

  1. Prepare, cook and cool as directed in key recipe.
  2. Omit vanilla extract.
  3. Stir in 1/4 teaspoon gluten-free almond extract and 1/4 cup chopped toasted almonds.
  4. Chill and serve as directed in key recipe.


Bailey's Irish Cream Custard

Bailey's Irish Cream Custard
  1. Prepare, cook and quickly cool as directed in key recipe.
  2. Omit vanilla extract.
  3. Stir in 1 tablespoon Bailey's Irish Cream.
  4. Chill and serve as directed in key recipe.


Blanc Mange

  1. Omit eggs.
  2. Increase sugar to 1/2 cup.
  3. With sugar, salt and milk, stir in 3 tablespoons cornstarch (or 3 tablespoons tapioca starch or 1 1/2 tablespoons potato starch).
  4. Increase milk to 2 cups.
  5. Cook as directed in key recipe.
  6. Immediately remove from heat and stir in 1 tablespoon butter and 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract.
  7. Pour into decorative dessert dishes, cover and chill for 2 to 3 hours before serving.


Caramel Custard

  1. Substitute equal measure of dark brown sugar for white granulated sugar.
  2. Prepare as directed in key recipe.


Caramel Custard Pudding

  1. Substitute 1/2 cup dark brown sugar for white granulated sugar.
  2. Prepare and serve as directed in Custard Pudding recipe.


Chocolate Custard Pudding

  1. Increase sugar to 1/2 cup and add 2 ounces melted unsweetened baking chocolate.
  2. Prepare and serve as directed in Custard Pudding recipe.


Coconut Custard 

  1. Prepare, cook and cool as directed in key recipe.
  2. Stir in 1/2 cup shredded coconut.
  3. Chill as directed in key recipe.
  4. To serve, garnish top with toasted shredded coconut.


Creamy Stirred Custard

  1. Substitute full fat cream for milk.
  2. Prepare and serve as directed in key recipe.


Custard Dessert Sauce

Custard Dessert Sauce
  1. With sugar and salt, stir in 1 tablespoon cornstarch (or 1 tablespoon tapioca starch or 2 teaspoons potato starch).
  2. Substitute full fat cream for milk.
  3. Prepare and chill as directed in key recipe.
  4. To serve, pour over the top of fresh fruit, stewed fruit, cake or other desserts.


Custard Pudding

  1. With sugar, salt and milk, stir in 2 tablespoons cornstarch (or 2 tablespoons tapioca starch or 1 tablespoon potato starch).
  2. Increase milk to 2 cups.
  3. Cook as directed in key recipe.
  4. Immediately remove from heat and stir in 1 tablespoon butter and 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract.
  5. Pour into decorative dessert dishes, cover and chill for 2 to 3 hours before serving.


Date Custard

  1. Decrease sugar to 2 tablespoons.
  2. Prepare as directed in key recipe.
  3. To serve, stir in 1/2 cup chopped dates.


Eggnog Custard

Eggnog Custard
  1. With sugar, salt and milk, stir in 1/8 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg.
  2. Cook and quickly cool as directed in key recipe.
  3. With vanilla extract, stir in 1/2 teaspoon gluten-free rum or brandy extract.
  4. Chill as directed in key recipe.
  5. To serve, top with whipped cream and a sprinkle of fresh grated nutmeg.


Floating Island

  1. Prepare as directed in key recipe.
  2. To serve, spoon custard into dessert bowls.
  3. Top with an "island", individual meringue shell.
  4. Garnish with a dollop of whipped cream.


Honey Meringue Pudding

  1. Prepare as directed in key recipe.
  2. To serve, spoon custard into dessert bowls.
  3. Top with a "island", individual honey meringue shell.
  4. Garnish with a dollop of whipped cream.


Lemon Custard

Lemon Custard
  1. Prepare as directed in key recipe.
  2. Omit vanilla extract.
  3. Stir in 1 teaspoon gluten-free lemon extract and 1 teaspoon grated fresh lemon peel.
  4. Chill and serve as directed in key recipe.


Lime Custard

  1. Prepare as directed in key recipe.
  2. Omit vanilla extract.
  3. Stir in 1 teaspoon gluten-free lime extract and 1 teaspoon grated fresh lime peel.
  4. Chill and serve as directed in key recipe.


Maple Custard

Maple Custard
  1. Prepare as directed in key recipe.
  2. Omit granulated white sugar.
  3. Add 1/4 cup maple syrup.
  4. Prepare and serve as directed in key recipe.


Mint Chocolate Custard Pudding

  1. Increase sugar to 1/2 cup and add 2 ounces melted unsweetened baking chocolate.
  2. Prepare, cook and cool as directed in Custard Pudding recipe.
  3. Stir in 1/2 teaspoon gluten-free peppermint extract.
  4. Chill and serve as directed in key recipe.


Nutritious Custard

  1. In the top of the double boiler, beat eggs until lemon colored.
  2. Stir in 1/2 cup powdered milk with sugar, salt and milk until combined.
  3. Prepare and serve as directed in key recipe.


Orange Custard

  1. Prepare as directed in key recipe.
  2. Omit vanilla extract.
  3. Stir in 1 teaspoon gluten-free orange extract and 1 teaspoon grated fresh orange peel.
  4. Chill and serve as directed in key recipe.


Pioneer Custard

  1. Omit granulated white sugar.
  2. Add 1/4 cup dark molasses.
  3. Prepare and serve as directed in key recipe.


Rich Custard

  1. Omit whole eggs.
  2. Add 4 egg yolks.
  3. Omit milk.
  4. Add 1 1/2 cups evaporated (canned) milk.
  5. Prepare and serve as directed in key recipe.


Strawberry Floating Island

  1. Prepare and chill as directed in key recipe.
  2. Serve custard over a dessert bowl filled with sweetened sliced strawberries.
  3. Top with an "island", individual strawberry meringue shell.
  4. Garnish with a dollop of whipped cream.


Vermont Tipsy Topsy Pudding

  1. Prepare and chill as directed in key recipe.
  2. To serve, pour over slices of cake.
  3. Top with whipped cream.
  4. Garnish with chopped toasted nuts.






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