Custard can be consumed in a range of different forms; most commonly as a dessert or dessert sauce, but custard bases are also used for quiches and other savoury foods.
Custard is made from a combination of milk or cream, egg yolks, sugar and vanilla. Sometimes a thickener is also added such as flour, corn starch or gelatin.
True custards, as used in French cookery, are thickened with eggs. The best way to cook custard is over a very gentle temperature, adding the heated milk to the eggs. It can also be: steamed, baked in an oven with or without a hot water bath and even cooked in a pressure cooker. However the water bath slows heat transfer and makes it easier to avoid curdling.
Instant and ready-made ‘custards’ widely available in the UK are convenient, but not classified as true custards as they are not thickened with egg. These ‘custards’ are often used as an accompaniment to desserts or with fruit. With milk being the main ingredient in these ‘custards’ their consumption provides some of milks valuable nutrients.