How to Make Custard Pudding

two bowls of vanilla custard garnished with raspberries and mintCustard pudding is a dessert that can be found in a variety of forms in a number of different cultures across the globe. From Spanish flan to French crème brulee to Indian rice porridge, custard puddings are a mixture of just a few simple ingredients and a few easy steps. For a delicious journey through the cuisine of India and a tasty rice porridge recipe, try Veena Nair’s Veena’s Kitchen course for the Indian version of this popular dessert. Combining eggs, dairy and sugar, this tasty treat is great served warm on a cold winter’s day, or serve chilled as the perfect end to a delicious summer barbeque. Custard pudding is an excellent alternative to cakes and pies, especially for those with Celiac disease and gluten sensitivity. This dessert can be made in a variety of flavors, and is an outstanding compliment to any meal.

Vanilla Custard Pudding

This easy vanilla custard pudding recipe can be made in just a few simple steps. Serve the custard pudding warm from the oven, or allow it to chill in the refrigerator for a cool summer treat. This recipe makes four servings.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups whole milk (or coconut milk)
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 Tablespoon salted butter (melted)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (or the caviar from 1 whole vanilla bean)

Instructions:

1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees.

2. Set the kettle on the stove and warm a full pot of water until it boils. Put the kettle aside.

3. In a small saucepan, heat the milk until it begins to foam around the edges. Pour the heated milk into a blender and quickly place the lid on top.

4. Whir the milk on high and slowly add the ½ cup sugar, vanilla extract (or caviar), and the melted butter.

5.  Add the eggs and blend on high for one minute.

6.  Place a mesh colander on top of a medium size bowl and pour the contents of the blender into the well of the colander. Allow all of the liquid to strain through, and use the flat end of a spatula to push the blended egg mixture through the sieve of the colander.

7.  When the liquid has completely strained, pour it into the ramekins or custard cups and place the custard cups onto the baking pan. Make sure the custard cups don’t touch each other.

8.  Pour hot water from the kettle around the custard cups, making sure to fill the baking pan ¾ high. Do not pour the water into the custard cups.

9.  Place the baking pan in the heated oven and bake for 20-25 minutes.

10.  Serve custard pudding warm or chilled from the refrigerator.

If you’d like to try a chocolate version of this recipe that’s a little bit thicker and richer (it’s more like a pot du crème), this recipe is adapted from The Pioneer Woman Cooks, and is one of my favorites. For more chocolate recipes, check out Maria-Lola Edun’s Chocolate Beginner’s Course.

Chocolate Custard Pudding Pot du Crème

Rich and tasty, you won’t be able to resist this quick and easy chocolate recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups whole milk (or coconut or almond milk)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 bag semi-sweet chocolate (or milk chocolate chips)

Instructions:

1.  In a small saucepan, heat the milk until it begins to foam around the edges. Pour the heated milk into a blender and quickly place the lid on top.

2.  Set the blender on high and add the egg until blended.

3.  Continue to blend the milk and egg mixture and add the bag of chocolate chips.

4.  Whir until the mixture is completely incorporated (about 1-2 minutes) and pour into the well of a colander set on top of a medium size bowl.

5.  Strain the mixture until most of the liquid has passed through the screen of the colander.

6.  Pour mixture into ramekins or custard cups and refrigerate overnight.

Either of the above recipes can be jazzed up with raisins, chopped fruit, or coco nibs to create an even more sophisticated alternative to the standard recipe. I’ve found that skipping the straining step on the Chocolate Pot du Crème recipe yields a delicious creamy result that’s smattered with tiny little chocolate bits. I’ve also used half milk and half hot coffee for the liquid measure, which gives the custard a delicious mocha flavor (and a tiny caffeine kick too). If you’re allergic to eggs, try substituting with three tablespoons of cornstarch mixed with a tablespoon of the hot milk mixture. Combine the two until smooth and then add to the blender and continue the remaining steps. For those with dairy sensitivities, I’ve found that unsweetened coconut milk acts as and excellent replacement for regular dairy, and has a creaminess that I think surpasses the creaminess of dairy (but that’s just my opinion). You could also easily substitute the chocolate chips with butterscotch or peanut butter chips too to create peanut butter or butterscotch pot du crème. It might be fun to make two different flavors and swirl them together to make peanut butter chocolate, or butterscotch vanilla custard pudding too.

Custard puddings and their various forms are a quick and easy way to make a sophisticated and delicious dessert. These creamy sweets can be reheated in the microwave for an after school snack, or added to the dessert table at a party or event. While pastries and desserts can often be intimidating to create and time consuming, Chef Marco Ropke’s Online Pastry School- One Week Mastery Course, teaches you the basics for making some excellent and impressive desserts. For more information regarding other gluten-free recipes and dietary options and replacements, check out Martina Desgouttes How to Navigate a Gluten-Free Lifestyle.