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Thursday, March 15, 2007

Saving Birds Eye Custard Powder

We try not to use premixes. But when we do, we usually try and find a way to make them taste as gorgeous as possible.

Birds Eye custard powder is a favourite. Ever since I've been a little tyke, we've used Bird's Eye Custard Powder for pouring custard for our favourite puddings. Nothing like hot, creamy, custard to pour on Steamed Ginger Pudding or Peach Banana Crumble.

Part of the attraction of the premix powder is the speed with which you can make it. AND a fantastic plus for the home cook is that it's not as heat sensitive as making a creme anglais. Which to my mind is the most fantastic dessert sauce in the world next to a good Chocolate Ganache.

After all, push the heat a little too much and you end up with sweet scrambled eggs. Not fun.

Having said that, while I don't believe that Bird's Eye custard powder is a substitute for the real thing (creme anglais) you can get something very yummy if you follow the following tweak that I made to the standard Bird's Eye Pouring custard recipe;

Standard Birds Eye Recipe

1 cup milk
1 cup cream (makes it creamier and gives better mouthfeel)
2 tbsp Bird's Eye Custard Powder
2 to 3 Tbsp sugar

My addition
2 egg yolks
1 egg
1 tsp Vanilla extract (don't use vanilla pods for this - save them for the creme anglais)
Pinch of salt (a magical ingredient)

  1. Take 3 tbsp of the milk and dissolve the sugar, custard powder
  2. Whisk up the eggs and yolks to combine thoroughly
  3. Bring the milk to a roiling boil
  4. Mix the eggs, yolks, and the custard powder mixture together
  5. What you want is to raise the temperature of the egg mixture gradually so you need to temper the eggs by slowly drizzling 2 ladlefuls (one of those soup ladles would be good) of the boiling milk into the egg mixture. (My old cooking teacher used to say "think about a little baby peeing, that's the speed you want to drizzle it in"
  6. Next, pour the milky egg mixture quickly into the rest of the boiling milk and whisk VIGOROUSLY. This is VERY IMPORTANT. Make sure you hold the pot firmly and whisk it to within an inch of it's life.
  7. Keep whisking for a couple of minutes then remove from the heat and continue whisking for another couple of minutes.
  8. Pour it into a jug, cover with cling wrap so the wrap is sitting on the custard. This is to prevent a skin forming.
  9. Serve warm.
Basically, the eggs give it an eggyness that is missing from the original and the cream makes up for that flatness that the standard recipe has, in my opinion! (Must qualify hehe)

If you feel that this recipe is too rich, by all means use milk instead of the cream and substitute an egg for both the egg yolks instead.


Precious Pea

Thanks for sharing the recipe. If I want to make corn custard, can I use the same recipe and just add a can of corn?

Allan Yap & Nigel A. Skelchy

I suppose you could...but never tried it. If you need it set rather than soft, you could try adding 1 more tbsp custard powder and 1 more egg? I'm guessing here. ;-)

And hold back on the salt as there is already salt in the cream corn (which is what I would use for more corn flavour)


Its not Birds Eye, Just plain Birds Custard Powder. Birds Eye is a completely different brand! Its a very famous brand, just search it on wikipedia if you don't believe me!

Allan Yap & Nigel A. Skelchy

Scifi 25, thanks for the heads up. You're right. Not only that, but both brands were owned by Kraft, though Bird's has now been sold to Premier foods. Interesting though is that in the public consciousness and amongst my family members, everyone calls it Bird's Eye Custard.


I don't know about adding the eggs and stuff, but it's a good idea!!

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