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English Recipes

Traditional English Recipe - English Custard

A traditional English recipe. Served hot this complements any pudding, or it can be served cold as a pudding in its own right, you can also use this recipe for the custard layer in trifle.


50 g / 1.8oz caster sugar (fine sugar)
1 fresh vanilla pod (vanilla essence doesn't taste as good)
6 large egg yolks
550 ml / 19.4fl oz double cream


  1. Cut the vanilla pod in half lengthways and gently scrape out the seeds.
  2. Put the sliced vanilla pod into the pan with the seeds and pour in the cream. Place the pan over a gentle heat and bring it to below simmering point. Do not boil.
  3. Pour the egg yolks and sugar into a bowl and whisk thoroughly. Spoon the vanilla pod out of the warmed cream and discard.
  4. Remove the pan from the heat. Pour the cream, little by little, into the egg mixture, stirring all the time to prevent lumps forming.
  5. Pour the custard back into the pan and place over a gentle heat.
  6. Using the spatula stir it very gently until it thickens. Don't stir too fast or the custard will separate and be ruined.
  7. Spoon the custard into a bowl or over your favourite dessert while steaming hot.


To boil: To cook a liquid at a temperature of at least 100°C.

To pour: To transfer a liquid from one container to another.

To simmer: To keep a liquid just below boiling point, usually in a pan on the hob, e.g. simmer the sauce until it starts to thicken.

To stir: To agitate an ingredient or a number of ingredients using a hand held tool such as a spoon.

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