We were once looking for a recipe that would help us test our homemade vanilla extract and came across this one. Perfect for showcasing the rich creaminess of good vanilla. We’ve upped the amount of extract the original recipe called for. In our experience, this is almost never a mistake. This silky smooth custard is a great finish to any meal. With its light custard base and the fresh berry topping, it’s not too filling and not too sweet. It’s just right. The custard can also be used as a filling for a fresh fruit tart.
Adapted from a recipe by Smitten Kitchen. Photo also from Smitten Kitchen.
1 cup whole milk
2 tsp good vanilla extract (or seeds from 1 vanilla bean)
3 large egg yolks
¼ cup granulated sugar
3 Tbsp all-purpose flour
1 to 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 cup blueberries
1½ tsp granulated sugar
Juice from a wedge lemon, or to taste
- Heat the milk until warm in a microwavable measuring cup.
- In a small saucepan (off the heat), beat the egg yolks and the ¼ cup of sugar together vigorously until it pales in color and a ribbon of batter falls off your whisk when you lift it from the bowl; this should take a few minutes. Whisk in the flour until fully incorporated.
- While whisking, drizzle the warm milk into the egg mixture, a tiny bit at a time. Once you’ve added about ¼ of the milk, you can add the rest in a thin stream, whisking constantly.
- Put the mixture on the stove over medium-high heat, whisking constantly, until it begins to bubble. Once bubbling, whisk it for 1 to 2 more minutes, and then remove from the heat. Immediately stir in vanilla and butter until combined.
- As a final step, for perfectly smooth and silky custard, you can press the mixture through a fine-mesh strainer. Skip this step if you’re not terribly concerned about perfection.
- To cool your custard quickly, place the saucepan in an ice water bath and stir the custard until lukewarm. Divide among serving dishes (cocktail glasses, ramekins, mugs…). You can also pour it into dishes still hot, but you should then press a film of plastic wrap against the surface of each custard so they don’t form skins. Custards keep in fridge for up to 4 days.
- For the topping, preheat oven to 400°F. Place blueberries in a shallow heatproof dish and sprinkle with 1½ tsp sugar. Roast in the oven for 12 to 15 minutes, rolling around once or twice during cooking time to ensure they roast evenly. The goal is to not let the blueberries collapse or turn to sauce – you just want a little trickle of juice puddled in the pan. Squeeze a bit of lemon juice over berries the second they come out of the oven and roll them back and forth to coat. Spoon hot roasted blueberries and some of their juices over each custard. Eat immediately.