A picture of a selection of custard filled tarts, served with raspberries and blueberries.
Custard

Versatile, great to eat with dessert


With all the same nutrients as milk including calcium and protein, custard can be eaten on its own or as a part of a number of desserts.

How is custard made? With milk or fresh pouring cream, egg yolks and sugar, and sometimes thickened with starch or egg proteins. The consistency depends mainly on the quantity of eggs or starch, the type of milk or cream and the cooking method.

Types of custard

Refrigerated

Generally based on milk solids and starch, there are three main varieties of refrigerated custard: premium, regular and low-fat. Rich and creamy, premium custard has a fat content of approximately 6%, regular custard is 1–3% fat and low-fat custard has a fat content of 0–1%.  

UHT

Made from full-fat milk (around 90%), sugar, thickener, flavourings, vegetable gum and colours. Long-life custard can be stored at ambient temperatures for long periods. After opening, the custard should be refrigerated and eaten in two to three days.

Baked

Either savoury or sweet, baked custards are usually cooked in a ‘bain marie’ or water bath. A water bath helps slow the transfer of the heat from the oven to the custard mixture and helps prevent curdling.

Stirred

Usually sweet, stirred custards are either cooked on the stovetop or in a double boiler (bowl over a saucepan of boiling water). The custard is then stirred until it is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.

Powdered custard

Made from maize and wheat starches, sugar, salt, flavours and colours, powdered custard is combined with sugar and milk then stirred over heat until thickened. Powdered custard thickens as the starch particles expand when moistened and heated.

Egg custard

Usually consists of 1 egg, 1 cup milk and 2 tablespoons sugar. The custard will become thicker and richer if egg yolks are added, or cream is used instead of milk. 

Pastry cream (creme patisserie) 

Pastry cream is made from eggs, sugar, milk and flour. Adding flour to the custard gives it a firmer consistency and prevents curdling.

Custard nutritional information


Type per 100g Protein
(g)
Fat 
(g)
 Carbohydrate
(g)
Energy 
(Kj) 
Calcium
(mg) 
Standard Vanilla 3.5 3.1 14.5 407 120
Premium Vanilla  3.9 09 15.4 359 127