A low-carb lifestyle is such a breeze when you get into the swing of things. Especially when you master some Banting staples, like good flourless gravy, and easy substitutes for pasta. For me custard is up there with your basic human rights. Especially in Winter, there’s nothing better than a warm comforting drizzle over your favourite low-carb pud. It’s surprisingly simple, and with only a few ingredients, you can whip it up fresh as and when you need it.
100ml full-cream milk
5 egg yolks
2 tbl xylitol
1 vanilla pod or 1tsp vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
– Heat up the cream, milk and vanilla pod on the stove, and remove the saucepan from the heat just as it starts to bubble.
– In a heat-proof bowl whisk your egg yolks together.
– Temper the egg yolks by gradually pouring over the yolks a small amount of the hot cream mixture and whisking non-stop, adding a small amount of the cream gradually until it’s all incorporated with the egg yolks. Don’t stop whisking for a second!
– Then pour the egg yolk cream mixture back into the saucepan, and return to a medium heat. STILL whisking continually until it just starts to stick to the spoon and cling to the sides of the pot.
– Once it’s nice and thick, add your xylitol and a pinch of salt, and stir it again thoroughly to combine everything. Check the taste, and add more xylitol if you prefer it sweeter. Don’t forget to fish out the vanilla pod, and scrape any seeds left behind, back into the custard.
– Now there are a few tips to getting a nice thick luscious custard, that doesn’t turn to scrambled egg:
1. Try and get as little egg white into your separated yolks as possible. It’s the egg white that gives you that scrambled effect, so take your time separating your yolks.
2. Don’t stop whisking. Not for a second. If Brad Pitt walked into your kitchen wearing nothing but his little leather skirt from Troy I’d expect you to say “Sorry Brad, not right now, I’m whisking custard!”
3. Keep an eye on the heat when you do the final stage of thickening it up. Too low a temperature and it won’t bind and thicken properly. Too hot and it will stick to the bottom and start to scramble. Aim for nice gentle bubbles that go “plop” coming up to the surface every now and then. If it looks like a milk pond turn up the heat. But if you’re getting custard splashing in your eye, turn it down.