The only problem with the real-deal egg custard is that often people are discouraged by scrambling egg particles in their not so smooth end result. Ewww! Another batch in the bin.
After attempting egg custard a few times, I feel I now have it down-pat, and have an amazing patisserie recipe to boot.
Now I haven't taken any "in-the-process" photos like I would have liked...no, I was too busy whisking away frantically. And people wonder why my biceps are so impressive.
Just kidding. But you will need a bit of power in those arms.
Step 1: Custard should only be attempted when you are child, pet and distraction free. All you need is a good 15 minutes. I never even go near the custard making process when my son is awake. You're doomed if you do! You're bound to have a disaster occur at the custard's crucial moment of "becoming"...a kiddy packing a number 3 into that nappy or the cat getting half swallowed by the toilet. So pop the bub to bed, put the cat outside and turn off the TV.
Step 2: Prepare ahead. Measure out the ingredients, separate the eggs, and have them at arms reach along with these instructions. Fill the sink with a few inches of cold water for when the saucepan comes off the stove (this reduces further cooking of the custard in the pot once you've finally ceased whisking at the end). Put the milk on to boil and arm your self with the whisk. You may want to stretch those biceps a few times before getting into the vigorous whisking process.
Step 3: Don't stop whisking, from the very beginning to the very end! It's always well worth the elbow-grease.
Other Tips: Inconsistencies are often a result of the custard sitting on the bottom of the saucepan too long, so don't even stop whisking for a moment. That's really the most important thing. Egg white in the custard also causes problems, so when you're separating the eggs, make sure you get as much egg white off the yolk as possible. This includes those horrid, thick, white clumps that are often attached to the yolk. Get rid of them!
Now for the awesome recipe, seeing as you're all prepared for the delicious smoothness that is now promised.
BEST VANILLA EGG CUSTARD
2 cups milk
4 large egg yolks
6 tbsp. sugar
3 tbsp. cornflour
40g butter, at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla essence
Place milk in a small saucepan and bring to the boil.
Meanwhile, in a separate saucepan, combine yolks, sugar and cornflour and whisk over a low heat. When the milk has boiled, add a few tablespoons into the yolk mixture and whisk. Gradually add the remaining milk and whisk vigorously on a medium heat. Custard will thicken. Continue to whisk until boils, and remove from heat. Scrape into a small bowl and sit in a few inches of cold water or ice, to cease the cooking process. When cooler, add the butter in 3-4 installments, stirring until combined. Add essence, mix and refrigerate. Stores for 2-3 days.