Introduction-Cooking MethodSaucesStove Top-StirredBaked-Water BathFrozen-Turned
What is a CustardA custard is a culinary preparation made by tempering steeped cream or milk into an egg yolk or combination of yolk and whole eggs base. It is the coagulation of the egg protein which gives the custard its thickened form. This is achieved by gently heating the custard either by low heat on a stove top(‘Stirred” Method), in a double boiler (“Ribbon” stage Method) or in a water bath in the oven (“Baked” Method).
Egg TemperingDouble BoilerRibbon StageStirred MethodWater Bath MethodTurned Method
MethodThe method forassemblingcustards are all basically the same, the steeping of milk/cream and slowly adding 1/3 of the heated cream into egg mixture while stirring, this brings the eggs to the temperature of the heated cream with out cooking the egg. Once you have “tempered” the eggs it is safe to add all of the remaining heated cream to the mixture at once. It’s the “cooking” methods that vary.
MethodThis is a method of cooking a delicate product by using steam as your heat. By placing a bowl over a pot of lightly boiling water the steam heats/melts the product slowly with low heat. Uses for this would be melting chocolate or cooking egg yolks so as not to scramble them. This is not to say that you CAN NOT scramble egg over a double boiler, it does help insure the product heats up slowly enough that it takes longer to cook therefore it will stay at the consistency you are looking for for a longer period of time.
Custard SaucesThis is the process in which you cook your egg yolks and sugar (or all product combined, i.e., Anglaise) together over a double boiler until they are pale in color and when a spoon is run through the product and you run your finger down the back of the spoon a clear passing mark is made without the sides running back together. When this stage is reached the product is done.
Stove Top CustardsThis is the method in which the cream is steeped, (strained if infusing flavor) and then tempered into the yolk mixture, the entire mixture is then strained, put back on the stove and stirred constantly until product forms a smooth silky consistency. The custard is then strained again to insure a smooth consistency and to remove any impurities.
Baked CustardsThis is the method in which the custard is made in the same process as the “stirred” method only instead of returning it to the heat it is poured into its baking dish or dishes and baked in a shallow pan with water 1/3 up the side of the dish. This is to insulate the custard and insure even cooking. Some custards are cooked using this method and covered with tin foil to steam the custard as well.
Frozen CustardsThis is the method in which the cream/milk is steeped and tempered into the egg yolks (if used) and then returned to the heat to reach “ribbon” stage 165 degrees and then either cooled down and put in a ice ream machine to be spun or slowly frozen and folded onto itself, as in the process of making Gelato.
Crème Anglaise aka “Mother Sauce” to PastrySabayon / ZabaglioneFruit Curds
aka the “Mother Sauce” in pastriesYolk to Milk Ratio 4:1, yolks4oz (4 yolks), milk 8oz (1 cup)Standard formula: Yield 1/2cMilk 4oz, yolks 2oz, sugar 4oz, vanilla .25oz(tsp.)Uses: Adds moisture to tarts, pound cakes, high fat ratio pastries, wonderful sauce to put over fruit.
Sabayon - Zabaglione
White wine sauceBoth these sauces are made with yolks, sugar and sweet white wines.Sabayon: is the French version which is made with any form of sweet, dry or sparkling white wine.Zabaglione: is the Italian version of the sauce and is typically made solely with Marsala, which is a less sweet drier white wine.Yolk to Liquid Ratio 12:1; yolks 12oz (12 yolks), wine 8oz (1c)Standard Formula: Yields 1 cupYolks 6oz, wine 4oz, sugar 1.5 oz.Uses: Is a wonderful accompaniment to fresh fruit.
Rich fruit, egg and butter sauceStandard Formula: Yield 1 cupYolks 3oz, fruit 4oz, sugar 4-6oz, 1-5oz butterThe sugar varies in curd based on the fruit that is being used i.e., lemon juice.Uses: Pie fillings, garnish for high fat ratio cakes, cake layer fillings.
Stove Top Custard
Pastry CreamPuddingRice PuddingTapiocaBavarian CrèmeCream Pies
The multi-use custardYolk to Milk Ratio 3:1, yolks 3 (3oz), milk 1 cup (8oz)Standard Formula: Yield 2 cupsYolks 4oz, milk 12oz, sugar 4oz, butter 1oz, Vanilla .25oz (tsp.)Variations: no butter, add flour or cornstarch to help stabilize and thicken.Uses: Bavarian Crème (with the addition of equal parts Chantilly), custard pies, Charlotte, layered fruit desserts, cake layer filling.
Rice Pudding and TapiocaRice pudding standard formula: Yield 4 cupsRice 1/3c, sugar 1/2c, milk 4c, pinch saltTapioca standard formula: Yield 4-6 cupsPearls 4oz, milk 3c, eggs 2, sugar 1/2c, salt 1/4t, vanilla 1tUses: can be served on their own or as an accompaniment to fresh fruit.
Crème BruleeFlanCafé Con LechePots de CrèmeClafoutiBread PuddingQuicheCheese Cake
Rich Custard with a “burnt” sugar toppingYolk to Cream Ratio 2:1, yolks 2 (2oz), heavy cream 1 cup (8oz)Standard Formula: Yield 4-6ozramikinsYolks 4 (4oz), heavy cream 2c (16oz), sugar 1/2c (4oz)This custard can be infused with many different flavors, if infusing add any herbs, zests or teas into the cream while its steeping. These will be removed when cream is strained and tempered into yolks.
Bread Pudding & Quiche
Sweet or Savory?Ratio 4:2:1, Bread, Egg, MilkStandard Formula: Yield 4-5 cupsBread 4c, whole egg 2, milk or cream 1cBread pudding can be made either sweet or savory by adding herbs and vegetables or fruit and sugar.Quiche: Yield 1Ratio 2:1, Eggs 2, Milk 1cup (1 cup additional filling)Fillings: ham, cheese, onion, peppers, tomatoes…
Sweet or Savory?Yolk to Cream Cheese Ratio: 2:1, yolks 2, cream cheese 1 cup (8oz)Standard formula: Yield 1 Cheese CakeYolks 4 (4oz), CC 2c (1#), sugar 1c (8oz), sour cream 1c (8oz), vanilla 1TAny flavor can be added to this formula to make the cheese cake either sweet or savor, lets talk coulis…
Gelato - ItalianCrèmeAnglaise– FrenchIce Cream - American
Italian Frozen CustardMilk to Cream Ratio 2:1, milk 2c, cream 1Standard formula: Yield 1 ½ pintWhole milk 2c, Cream 2c, sugar 1/2cGelato is higher in milk and lower in cream and eggs (typically no egg at all) then the American version of Ice Cream. It also has little to no air incorporated into it, it is hand “turned” or folded onto itself to make it a thicker denser frozen custard. It is held at a warmer temp then standard ice cream to give it a smoother mouth feel as well.
American Frozen CustardCream to Milk Ratio 2:1, cream 2c, milk 1cStandard formula: Yield 1 ½ pintCream 2c, Milk 1c, Sugar 1/2c,Ice cream is turned in an ice cream maker to incorporate are and to form ice crystals with gives it a firmer colder texture. It is higher in milk fats to help keep its smooth moth feel.
French frozen CustardYolk to milk Ratio 2:1, yolks 2, milk 1cStandard formula: Yield 1pintYolks 2, milk 2c, sugar 8ozThis frozen custard adds yolks for a richer flavor and texture because yolks are added this custard is cooked using the tempering method and then put back on the heat to bring it up to 165 degrees to insure the yolks are cooked.Itis also turned in an ice cream machine to incorporate air and give it a lighter mouth feel.