My grandmother gave me a love for cooking and in particular, baking and desserts. The very first thing she taught me to make was a basic ‘crème à la vanille’ (I could say custard, but it just sounds so much prettier in French!) Initially on the real food journey, I thought I was going to have to give up a bunch of stuff. Now? It’s all about changing the language, adapting the vocab and using better ingredients to make the occasional treat kind, and in fact nutritious, to one’s body. Enjoy my grandmère’s crème reworked.
Pin Recipe Rate Recipe
- 3 tbsp maple syrup 3 tablespoons of Rapadura sugar or 3 tbsp coconut sugar. For fructose free, do rice syrup or stevia powder to taste.
- 4 pcs egg yolk
- 1 vanilla pod split and scraped or 1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean powder.
- 1-5 tsp tapioca flour or arrowroot flour for thickening the custard
- 500 ml milk of choice
1. Either pop everything in the Thermomix for 7 minutes on speed 4, 80C OR follow this traditional method, which I find very therapeutic and still do often if I have the 15 minutes spare.
2. Heat your milk and vanilla pod that’s been cut in half and seeds scraped out into the milk, with the rest of the pod popped in too. A medium heat saucepan is perfect.
3. While it’s heating, whisk your yolks, chosen sweet stuff & tapioca flour together in a separate bowl that’s going to be big enough to pour the milk into as well.
4. When the milk is just come to simmer / froth around the edges, take it off the heat and pour a tiny bit into the egg mixture bowl, while stirring continuously, pour the rest in a steady slow stream until the whole milk / vanilla contents is incorporated – cook with a friend or your child – it makes this step easy peasy!
5. Immediately then pour that whole custard back into the saucepan on a low-medium heat, stirring continuously with a wooden spoon, until the mixture thickens and coats the spoon nicely. Do not let it bubble. That is too hot and it will curdle. If in doubt of it starting to curdle, take it off the heat immediately and pour into bowl. Liquidy custard is better than chunky curdled custard, trust me!
6. You are done. Pour back into bowl, vanilla pod and all to let those flavours deepen further, and pop in the fridge for a couple of hours or even a couple of days – if you can resist that long! Saved from stogy, highly processed, additive laden supermarket crapola custard forever more!
Coconut Milk makes a gorgeous dairy free version, whole / raw milk is fabulous too. Nut milks will be a bit more volatile and I suggest not putting the custard back on for too long to thicken when that time comes – better to have a thinner custard than a curdled one!
Variations and what to serve with
Chocolate variation: whisk a little cocoa powder (1-2 teaspoons) into the eggyolk / sweet stuff mixture and proceed as you were! Divine. Serve it with my chocolate coconut cupcakes, in a chocolatey, custardy soup.
A simple dessert once mastered. This crème is beautiful to serve as a pudding accompaniment to the spelt based vanilla coconut cupcakes I posted here – dinner party heaven as it’s all ready in advance! Or for yourself or guests with gluten / grain allergies, or just because these are delicious – my coconut cupcakes.
Another delicious addition is to either poach half pears and serve or to fry slices of banana in a little butter and cinnamon and garnish with toasted coconut. Oh my!