Perfect custard

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I’m going out on a limb here, but… there’s nothing that can beat homemade custard. Or should I say, the perfect custard. Forget the powder. Fresh, homemade custard is rich, delicious and, well, homely. It’s everything you want to cover all over your dessert. And I mean ALL over. None of this ‘there’s-not-enough’ situation. Make it fresh. And make lots of it. No complaints.

This custard makes 1 1/2 jam jars worth. Outside of a jam jar, I legit don’t know what quantity that is?! But you can never have too much custard can you? If in doubt, MAKE MORE. Then just make sure you have puddings every night that require a healthy smothering of sweet and creamy custard.

Chef’s tip 

To check your eggs are cooked in a custard or a curd, dip in a spoon. When the sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, run your fingers across it. If you get a clean line with no dribbling, the eggs are done!

Why not try my butterscotch apple crumble recipe just for an excuse to make more of this perfect custard.


metric imperial
  • 1 1⁄4 cups double cream
  • 300ml double cream
  • 1⁄4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1⁄4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 3 tbsp caster sugar
  • 3 tbsp caster sugar


  1. Set yourself set up. If you are not using the custard immediately, then you will need something big enough for the custard to be strained into. If you are using the custard straight away, place a sieve over a jug, or whatever it is you’re serving it in.
  2. Pour the double cream into a small saucepan and add the vanilla. Place the pan over a medium heat and slowly bring it up to the simmer – just so that bubbles are forming around the edges of the cream. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside.
  3. In a bowl, beat together the egg yolks and sugar, until the colour has turned pale.
  4. Stirring the whole time, little by little, pour about half the cream from the pan into the sweetened yolks – this will gently bring the yolks up to temperature so that they don’t scramble when they go into the rest of the hot cream.
  5. Then, pour the yolk mixture in the bowl into the pan with the remaining cream and return to a low–medium heat, stirring continuously for about 7–10 minutes, until the custard thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon.
  6. Strain the thickened custard through the sieve into your chosen receptacle. If you’re keeping it until later, cover the surface of the custard with cling film (make sure it’s actually touching the surface), which will stop a skin forming on top.