Custard. Pastry cream. Pudding. Cream.
I have no clue what I made. But it can be classified into any of the above. I absolutely love creamy and custardy desserts. For whatever reason, making them has always seemed tricky to me.
What temperature on the stove? How long do I stir? Will it burn? Will it separate? What’s the texture supposed to be like? Is an ice bath necessary? Can I make it with a non dairy milk? Do I have to really whisk continuously? When do I add the eggs? Wait, now I have to refrigerate it forever?
By the time I’ve posed all my questions, I’m too exhausted to make an attempt. Until Smitten Kitchen coaxed me into it. This base recipe for the custard comes from her. And it’s so delicious. Rich and creamy, and best of all, easy. Lots of whisking but c’est la vie.
Within minutes I had made custard! Wait, pastry cream. I still don’t know. What I do know: this creamy vanilla pudding tastes a hundred times better than anything from the store. This recipe is teeny tiny, and only produced four little ramekins, but it does not need more because it’s rich and decadent. It can be enjoyed as is, or you can do one more, again very easy, step: top with your favorite preserves for a nice acidic contrast. In the words of Ina Garten, “How easy is that?”