Fa la la la la, la la la la! Yes I unashamedly admit it, I am a holiday freak. Fun fact: did you know that there is the belief that for every mouthful of Christmas cake or pudding you eat on Christmas day, that is how many months of good luck you will have for the coming year - sounds good to me!
This year I wanted to make my own custard and this recipe is fast, easy and so good you can eat it on its own. It has a thick, creamy consistency and you could always add a dash of whisky or brandy for an adult twist. It is also a great snack with some chopped fruits e.g. bananas, strawberries etc. for the kiddies (but maybe skip out the brandy essence). The Indian in me loves cardamom and touch of it in the custard is simply delicious.
If you are using the recipe as soon as it's ready it will be the right consistency you want it but if you put it in the fridge it may thicken a bit so if you need to thin it out just add a bit of milk and stir through while heating it over a medium heat to get it moving again, or simply microwave. If you accidentally add to much milk at a touch of sugar and vanilla to bring the flavor back into balance.
YOU WILL NEED
1 cup milk
1 cup thickened cream
1-1+1/2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste (Taste first and add more if desired. I love this stuff!)
1/3 cup caster sugar
4 egg yolks
1/2 teaspoon Pumpkin Pie Spice (get the recipe here)
Pinch of cardamom powder (optional)
1/4-1/2 teaspoon brandy essence (optional) (start with 1/4 teaspoon, have a taste and add more if desired)
In a medium non-stick saucepan add the milk and cream and allow to heat up over a medium heat. stir with a whisk gently but consistently to ensure the milk does not burn. Turn off the heat just before it boils.
Add the vanilla bean paste and sugar and stir in to combine well. Allow to cool a little (a few minutes is fine).
In a small mixing bowl add the eggs and cornflour and whisk until well combined.
Slowly add the whisked eggs and cornflour into the slightly cooled milk mixture bit by bit as you continue to whisk quickly to ensure the eggs are quickly and evenly distributed into the mixture.
Place the mixture back on the stove over low-medium heat and continue stirring until the mixture thickens to your desired consistency. Usually my custard is where I want it around the 7-10 minute mark. If your mixture thickens a bit too much at a bit more milk and whisk thoroughly.
Add the pumpkin pie spice, cardamom powder and brandy essence and mix well.
Serve warm or cold by itself or with your favorite Christmas pudding, cake or chopped fruits.
SERVES 4-6 AS A TOPPING WITH CAKE OR FRUIT/3-4 AS A STAND ALONE CUSTARD