Fruit custards are an easy dessert that everyone loves, especially when they’re made with fresh ingredients.
The custard has no cream, but it does have lots of flavor thanks to the fruits used to create it.
If you haven’t tried making your own fruit custard yet, here’s what you need to know about how to make this classic summer treat at home.
What Type Of Fruit Do You Want To Use In Your Custard?
When choosing which fruits to use for your custard, keep these things in mind:
- The texture and sweetness will vary depending on the kind of fruit you choose.
- You may need to add more sugar if you’ve added dried or candied fruit like raisins.
- Some fruits contain natural pectin, so you may not need any additional pectin (like apple juice) to thicken the mixture.
- Keep in mind that some fruits, such as raspberries, don’t work well in a custard because they become too soft during cooking.
- Avoid using really hard fruits, such as apples and cherries, unless you’d prefer them chopped into small pieces instead of pureed.
Apples are one of our favorite fruits, but sometimes we forget just how sweet they can be.
If you’re looking for something different than a traditional peach-based custard, try adding a few sliced apples to your mix.
This combination creates a rich, creamy custard that is sure to impress all who taste it!
Pears are another good choice for a custard recipe.
Their slightly tart and somewhat firm nature adds balance to the custardy consistency while also giving the dish a hint of sweetness.
Try serving pear custards alongside roasted pheasant, pork tenderloin, or even grilled salmon.
Raspberries are a popular addition to custard recipes, and their intense flavor makes them perfect for almost anything savory or sweet.
You can serve raspberry custards either hot or cold – and both versions provide excellent flavor and color.
A light, delicate custard is perfect for peaches.
Peaches tend to be high in acidity, so you might find yourself needing to add some extra sugar to your recipe.
They also have a lot of water content, so if you leave out the lemon zest, you won’t get enough tang from the other citrus flavors.
Cherries are probably best known for being eaten straight out of the jar, but they actually make a great addition to custards.
Cherry custards are very similar to plum custards, although they often require less liquid to achieve proper thickness.
When combined with chocolate, cherry custards are especially delightful.
For those who love strawberry desserts, there’s nothing better than a homemade version.
Strawberry custards are incredibly versatile, which means they can go perfectly with everything from grilled chicken to ice cream sundaes.
And if you’re wondering where to buy frozen strawberries, check out this list of places where you can buy fresh berries year round.
Mangoes aren’t typically thought of as “fruits for custards,”
but they’re actually quite tasty when blended together with other ingredients.
Mango custards are particularly nice paired with vanilla bean ice cream or cheesecake.
How Much Custard Do You Want To Make?
There isn’t really any hard-and-fast rule for how many cups of custard should go into each serving of the dessert.
However, if you want to serve several people, then you may want to double or triple the amount of custard that you would normally cook.
If you only plan on having one person eat the custard, then you might not even need more than 1 cup (250 mL) per serving.
The amount of custard will also depend on how sweet or tart you like it.
You could start by adding some sugar or lemon juice to taste and adjust accordingly after tasting.
Or, if you prefer your custard sweeter, simply add another egg yolk to help balance out the sweetness.
What Type Of Milk Do You Want To Use In Your Custard?
Custards are usually made from heavy cream (or half-and-half) or whole milk.
If you choose to go with either one, there are plenty of options for which kind to buy.
You can find both low fat and nonfat versions of each.
Whole milk tends to give your custard a richer taste than other types of milk so if you want something lighter try using skimmed or 1% instead.
In addition to being lower in calories, these milks will also work best because they won’t curdle as easily during cooking.
You may notice that some recipes call for whipping cream – don’t worry!
That means you should leave the whipped cream out of your custard.
Just like dairy products, whipping cream contains lactose, which makes people very sensitive to its presence.
So even though you might think whipping cream would add extra richness to your custard, it actually works against it by causing more curds to form.
So, whether you decide on skimmed or whole milk, stick with those two kinds of dairy products in your custard recipe.
They’ll help keep it smooth and creamy without adding too many additional calories.
How Much Sugar Do You Want To Use In Your Custard?
The amount of sugar you add depends on if you plan on serving your fruit custard hot or cold.
If you’re going to serve it hot, then go ahead and add as much sugar as you like — more than 1 cup (240 mL), actually.
That will help keep the custard from curdling while it cools down.
But if you’ll be serving it cold, then you may only need half a cup (120 mL) of sugar for every 4 cups (960 mL) of liquid, which means less sugar overall.
How Many Eggs Do You Want To Use In Your Custard?
The number of eggs you choose will depend on whether you plan to serve your custard hot (warm) or cold (room temperature).
If you plan to serve your custard hot, then two whole eggs should provide enough protein for the custard.
For those who prefer their custard room-temperature, three whole eggs might work better.
Custards made from egg yolks only may also taste good if prepared room-temperature.
You could always add more eggs if you feel like adding some extra fat and calories to your diet!
What Type Of Flavoring Do You Want To Use In Your Custard?
There are two types of flavors that work well for creating custards – sweeteners (like sugar) and acidifiers (which bring out more intense flavors).
While both will produce a good result, some people prefer one over the other depending on their taste preferences.
- Acidifier Custards: Acidic flavors like lemon juice, vinegar, and even fruit juices help create fruity custards by adding depth and complexity to the finished product.
- These acids also help prevent the custard from becoming too thick as it cooks so there aren’t any lumps when it’s done cooking.
- Sweetener Custards: When you add sweeteners such as honey, brown sugar, maple syrup, molasses or corn syrup into your custard, you get a different texture than if you were to just leave them out.
- Sweeteners give the custard body and thickness which makes it easier to pour and serve without having to worry about lumps.
Which kind of custard should I make first?
It all depends on whether you want to go with an acidic or sweetener-based sauce.
If you’re going with the former, start by preparing the custard base before you move onto the topping portion.
After you’ve cooked the custard base down enough to where it has set, then you can begin mixing in your toppings.
As for sweetener based sauces, keep those separate until after you’ve mixed together the final ingredients.
You don’t want anything to interfere with the sweetness of your sauce once it’s combined.
How Long Do You Want To Cook Your Custard?
When cooking the custard for any dish, start by choosing the right method.
For example, if you’d like to serve the custard warm, then using the oven will work best.
If however, you would rather serve the custard chilled, then baking it on top of the stove may be more appropriate.
You will also want to consider whether you prefer the custard hot or cool as well.
In general, you should always choose whichever option gives you the most control over the outcome.
That being said, there are times when both methods will produce similar results.
Baking Custard With An Oven
For those who would like to bake their fruit custard in the oven, follow these instructions:
- Preheat your oven to 350 F (180 C).
- In a medium sized bowl, combine all of the ingredients except the sugar.
- Mix them together until everything is evenly distributed.
- Pour mixture into individual ramekins or small cups and place them in the center rack of your preheated oven.
- Cook custards for 40 minutes, or until set.
- Remove from the oven and let sit for 5-10 minutes before serving.
Stovetop Custard With A Skillet
The following instructions apply only to those people who would like to heat their custard in a skillet instead of in the oven.
Follow these steps:
- Combine all of your ingredients in a large saucepan and bring to a boil.
- Once boiling, reduce heat to low and simmer until thickened.
- Remove from heat and pour into ramekins or other containers.
- Let cool completely, then refrigerate overnight.
What Temperature Do You Want To Cook Your Custard?
The first step in preparing any dish involves knowing how to choose the right cooking method for it.
If you’ve never cooked custard before, then you might not realize just how many different ways there are to prepare it.
Custard recipes vary depending on whether you plan to eat them hot or cold, which type of food you’ll be using as well as its size.
For example, if you decide to bake custard, you’ll want to use a deep baking pan to ensure even heat distribution throughout the entire mixture while ensuring that the top doesn’t burn.
You should also make sure to cover the sides of the container so that the steam produced during baking doesn’t escape.
You’d also probably choose to add some flavoring agents like vanilla extract to give the custard added depth of flavor.
If you prefer eating your custard cold, however, then you’ll likely opt to keep it chilled by placing it into individual cups instead of one large bowl.
This will help prevent spillage from happening once you pour it out onto plates.
As a general rule of thumb, most custard recipes recommend letting your fruit custard cool down completely before serving it.
However, since it tends to set quickly after cooling, you may find yourself having to refrigerate it until you’re ready to consume it.
For best results, try to let the custard sit overnight before serving it.
That way, you won’t have to worry about it melting all over your plate!
How Do You Want To Serve Your Custard?
Custards can be served hot out of the oven or chilled in the fridge for later consumption.
If you choose to cool them down, store them in their baking dish in the refrigerator until ready to eat.
Custards will last in the fridge up to three days before getting soggy from exposure to liquids.
It’s important to note that some recipes call for cooked eggs in order to help prevent the custard from curdling.
Eggs should always be cooked through unless using raw egg yolks.
Be sure not to overcook the custard so as not to destroy its structure.
Cooking time guidelines
- For a warm custard, bake the custard at 350 degrees F (175 C) for 25 minutes if the custard is baked in a water bath or 35-40 minutes if baked on the stove top.
- For a cold custard, chill the custard first and then either pop the pan into the microwave or turn off the heat to keep it warm while serving.
- 2.5 cups whole milk
- 5 tablespoons sugar
- 3 tablespoons custard powder
- 3 tablespoons whole milk warm or at room temperature
- 2 cups chopped mixed fruits apples, mangoes, sapota, banana, pears, strawberries, pomegranate
- Making Custard Sauce
- Place milk in a heavy-bottomed pan or saucepan and heat it on the stove. Bring the milk to a simmer over low heat.
- While the milk is heating, place 3 tablespoons warm milk from the saucepan in a small bowl. Add 3 tablespoons custard powder.
- You have the option of taking 3 tablespoons of warm milk from the milk that is heating up in the pan or warming 3 tablespoons milk separately in a microwave oven or on the stove top.
- Stir vigorously with a whisk to create a smooth, lump-free slurry or paste.
- When the milk has reached a gentle simmer, add the sugar. Stir vigorously to dissolve the sugar.
- Keep the heat low and add the custard paste in small amounts at a time.
- Stir quickly after adding one portion of the custard slurry or paste to prevent lumps from forming. This is how you finish off the custard paste.
- Stir frequently while the custard is cooking to prevent lumps from forming. Cook for 5 to 6 minutes over low heat.
- The mixture will gradually thicken. Cook for a few minutes longer if you want a thicker custard. Allow the custard to cool to room temperature before serving. Keep in mind that the custard will thicken more as it cools. You can also chill the custard in the refrigerator before adding the fruits.
- Making Fruit Custard
- Cut up the fruits. Make use of seasonal fruits. Melons and citrus fruits should be avoided. Apples, papaya, banana, strawberries, and pomegranate were the fruits I used.
- Add the mixed fruits after the custard has cooled. Mix to combine.
- Serve the fruit custard garnished with additional fruits and pomegranate arils, or with chopped nuts or dried fruits.