Cus­tard lovers unite

Dairy News Australia - - OPINION - MADELEINE BREN­NAN

AAH CUS­TARD … Such a dear friend. It’s got to be one of the most ver­sa­tile of sub­stances on earth. Like El­iza Doolit­tle, it’s es­sen­tial form is lovely and com­mon but dress it up with bit of fanci­ness and it can turn into the fairest of ladies — Crème Patis­sière any­one? Just think of all the ways we en­joy it: on its own, with ap­ple crum­ble, in a vanilla slice, baked in the oven, doused in syrup a la crème caramel or dressed up with a brit­tle crust of burnt sugar for crème brulee. Did you know the Span­ish like to fry it into a de­li­cious golden ball of gooey good­ness? Be­ing of the gen­er­a­tion used en­tirely to convenience and su­per­mar­ket choice, it took a long time for me to ac­tu­ally make a cus­tard of my own. I know what you’re think­ing: the shock, the horror, the lazy! Don’t get me wrong, as a child I many a time sam­pled by Grand­mother’s home­made cus­tard. Par­tic­u­larly when it came sur­rounded by puff of pas­try. (She never called them prof­iteroles mind you, they were just ‘cream puffs’). Nan’s cus­tard was how I learned that cus­tard was in fact closer to white in colour than yel­low — and that milk was more than just a great ac­com­pa­ni­ment to cook­ies. These days, even my mother-in-law, a CWA stal­wart, buys her cus­tard. Ev­ery Christ­mas, and most week­nights, she brings out the Brook­lea UHT 1 kg car­ton from the pen­sioner shop­ping haven (also known as Aldi) and she finds it does per­fectly well as an af­ter din­ner treat with some tinned peaches. My own — and still first and only — at­tempt to make cus­tard was doomed to fail­ure as I re­alised half way through heat­ing the milk that I didn’t have any corn­flour. Like a pan­icked yet slightly cocky Mas­ter Chef con­tes­tant I de­cided I would try gluten free plain flour in­stead. I stirred and stirred, I may have even tried a spell at one point, but the milk failed to thicken and I was left wish­ing I had made an omelette in­stead. Like most dairy prod­ucts these days, cus­tard is go­ing through a bit of a makeover. There’s cus­tard to pour, cus­tard to dol­lop, there’s even dou­ble thick va­ri­eties, which means dou­ble the deca­dence. Snack packs and pouches, cups and car­tons — there’s con­ve­nient pack­ag­ing for when­ever the cus­tard urge strikes. Many tricks are tried to lure the likely cus­tard lover, such as the be­spoke-sound­ing Mada­gas­can Vanilla Bean Cus­tard from Wicked Sis­ter which has flecks of the vanilla pod through­out. Lovers of the Paul’s Farm­house Gold Milk may have al­ready tried the Paul’s Farm­house Gold Cus­tard, which has less fat and sugar than the Dou­ble Thick va­ri­ety and as a re­sult has a more whole­some taste and lends it­self to larger serves. Speak­ing of whole­some, what do you make of choco­late cus­tard? Too dev­il­ish? For me it brings back many child­hood mem­o­ries of Yogo, and I’m a bit of a stick­ler for keep­ing it sim­ple when it comes to flavours. I like to eat choco­late. And cus­tard. But do we need to com­bine them? It’s the same rea­son it nearly blew my tiny mind to see that Sara Lee has a Rhubarb and Cus­tard Flavoured Ice Cream. Wowsers! I hope I’m not alone when I say my favourite way to eat cus­tard is straight from the reg­u­lar vanilla 1 litre car­ton, when no-one is look­ing, and drink it like milk. The car­ton says there is 10 serv­ings per pack but I beg to dif­fer. Want to make fried cus­tard? Visit www.sbs. com.au/food/recipes/fried-cus­tard-leche-frita

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