Appears in
Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets

By Darra Goldstein

Published 2015

  • About

custard is a mixture of whole milk, sugar, and eggs, generally flavored with vanilla and heated gently until thickened. Pale yellow to golden in color, it can be cooked in a saucepan, constantly stirred to make a sweet sauce that is sometimes known as custard sauce, boiled custard, or crème anglaise. See sauce. Alternatively, the raw mix can be poured into a dish or pastry crust to make a baked custard with a soft, set texture.

The name “custard” is also applied to a simpler, more convenient, and cheaper alternative made from packaged “custard powder” popular in the British Isles and Australia. These mixes contain no egg at all and are based on corn flour (cornstarch), flavorings, and colors, ready to mix with sugar and milk. Extremely popular in Britain, where they have come to be what most British people think of as custard, they are used mainly as sauces, substituting for egg-based custards. See united kingdom.