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Cook and Temper Custard

Crème brûlé, flan, ice creams, and bread puddings are all based on rich, creamy custard. This simple mixture of hot cream or milk, eggs, and sugar is easy-to-prepare if you combine the ingredients without scrambling the eggs. Learn to temper custard and you’re home free.

  How to Temper Custard. Learn to bake. 1. Start your custard by heating the milk or cream to just below boiling. Turn the heat to a low setting.  
  How to Temper Custard. Learn to bake. 2. Remove ½–1 cup of the hot liquid and slowly whisk it into your egg yolks. This raises the temperature of the yolks and prevents the proteins from binding and breaking the custard—scrambled eggs.  
  How to Temper Custard. Learn to bake. 3. Add the tempered egg to the hot cream or milk—over the low heat.  
  How to Temper Custard. Learn to bake.

4.Stir the custard constantly until it thickens and coats the back of a wooden spoon.

NOTE: Don't panic if your custard breaks. As insurance, you can fill your kitchen sink with enough ice water to go half way up the pan you're using. If the custard breaks, plunge the pan into the sink and slow the cooking process. Remove it from the water and pour the custard into a blender. Blitz and pour through a strainer. Now it's smooth again—and you don't have to tell anyone.


  How to Temper Custard. Learn to bake. 5. Remove the custard from the heat and pour it into a strainer placed over a bowl. This removes any small lumps and imperfections and produces a silky, voluptuously textured custard.  
  How to Temper Custard. Learn to bake.

6. Place plastic wrap directly on top of the custard in the bowl and allow it to cool to room temperature. This prevents an unwanted skin from forming.