History of Custards

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets

Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets

By Darra Goldstein

Published 2015

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The word “custard” derives from the French crustade, or pastry case, in which late medieval cooks baked egg and milk or cream-based mixtures with other ingredients, including sugar, spices, fruit, nuts, and meat (savory custards survive as quiche Lorraine). See pie. A similar process occurred with the word “flan” in Spanish. “Dariole,” another French word originally indicating an egg mixture in a case, came to mean a small custard tart in seventeenth-century English and now refers to the molds used to make them. See dariole.