Rich & Creamy Stove Top Vanilla Custard

by Caterina Borg, Good Food Gourmet on June 10, 2011


I’ve been dying to make this custard since I came across the recipe quite by accident a few weeks ago on a blog called Luna Café. Summer is a time when people really don’t want to eat desserts that are really rich or heavy, but rather something that can be paired with the abundant supply of fresh fruit that becomes available throughout the season.

When I saw this custard, I knew I had to share it with all of you. It comes together quickly and is so sinfully delicious. This custard was perfect as a parfait layered with the quick brittle recipe I have provided along with some fresh fruit. You could even make a fresh fruit compote or you can layer it with thin cake layers soaked with a simple syrup and a liquer of your choice for a more grown up version.

I have tweaked the recipe just a little to make it just a little richer. Her original recipe only had 1 large yolk, but I have added 2 plus I also added ¼ cup of cream for a better mouth feel. You can use all milk if that is what you have on hand. The consistency is more of a light, but delicate custard that really should be placed in a cup or a bowl. If you choose to make this a little thicker to add as a filling for cakes or in a prebaked pie shell (to make coconut custard pie for example), just add a little more cornstarch.

I opted to make a quick dessert for friends that were visiting and decided to layer the custard with fresh blueberries and my quick brittle. I used half nuts and half coconut this time around, but feel free to use all nuts for the brittle if you prefer…any nut will work and so will steel cut oats for more of a granola type product without all of that unnecessary oil. The combination of the crunchy almond and coconut brittle paired so well with the smoothness of the custard, and it was truly heaven in a bowl… 

Stove Top Vanilla Custard (serves 2)

¾ cup milk

¼ cup heavy cream

3 Tablespoons granulated sugar

Large pinch of salt

2 large yolks

1 Tablespoon cornstarch (add 2 tablespoons for a thicker version)

1 Tablespoon butter

½ teaspoon of real vanilla or ½ vanilla pod (scrape out seeds)

Separate the eggs and place your yolks in a stainless steel bowl. Add a little of your milk/cream, then whisk and set aside. Add the rest of the milk/cream along with the sugar, salt and cornstarch to a small stainless steel pot and whisk this well together until you have no lumps. Scald the liquid ( but do not boil) and then temper the liquid into the yolk mixture you have reserved by adding in a little of the hot liquid at a time, until it is all incorporated. Then add this mixture back into your pot and cook on medium heat until thickened about 5 minutes. Once thick, remove from the heat and add in the 1 teaspoon of vanilla and the butter. Stir well until it is all incorporated and then while this is still warm, pass this through a sieve into a clean non reactive bowl (either stainless steel or glass).

Place a piece of plastic wrap directly over the surface of the custard and allow it to cool at room temperature…then refrigerate for at least one hour until completely chilled.

Quick Coconut & Almond Brittle

½ cup sliced almonds

½ cup dessicated coconut

1 egg white

1 teaspoon vanilla

½ cup packed light brown sugar (or ¼ granulated plus ¼ light brown sugar)

This is so easy…just add everything into a bowl and mix until well combined. Turn it out onto a half sheet pan lined with a piece of parchment paper or a silpat, spread out the mixture so it compltley dries out and bake at 300°F for about 20-25 minutes until it has turned a lovely golden brown color. Turn the oven off and leave it in the oven for another 5-10 minutes…but keep an eye on it so it does not burn. I prefer using all brown sugar because it really offers more of a toffee/brittle taste, but the addition of the granulated sugar would work best if you are after more of a granola type product.

Allow to cool completely and break apart into either small or large pieces depending on what you are using it for. I layered the custard with the brittle and fresh blueberries…just amazing.

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar Heather June 11, 2011 at 2:57 p

The creaminess of the custard is a perfect foil for the brittle and berries. Old-fashioned desserts still have a big fan club!

avatar Caterina Borg, Good Food Gourmet June 12, 2011 at 11:58 p

It such a great recipe, I will be making this again…

avatar margie January 29, 2015 at 8:19 p

I have been looking for a fast and easy dessert that I can make sugar free. I made this with stevia and only used a spoonful of flour to thicken it instead of the cornstarch. It came out rich and delicious. I poured it warm over fresh berries. Wow, really good !!

avatar Tina Swain April 20, 2015 at 11:43 p

I mad this using some Fat Free Sugar Free Toasted Hazelnut coffee creamer since I didn’t have cream. I also used about 1/3 cup more milk because I wanted it pretty soft. Even after I forgot to add the butter it was delish!! I served it on slices of Kahlua cake…since 3 kids ages 10-13 were joining us I didn’t want to make the usual Kahlua Glaze. I also didn’t want ice cream or whipped topping….so glad I found your recipe. I am serving the remaining cake again tonight for neighbors but I had to make more of your custard…Too many second servings last night!.

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