Sunday, 21 September 2014

The Tale of Custard ... and Semifreddo

A few of you will remember this tale about Custard the Dragon. It starts like this ...

"Belinda lived in a little white house,
With a little black kitten and a little gray mouse,
And a little yellow dog and a little red wagon,
And a realio, trulio, little pet dragon.

Now the name of the little black kitten was Ink,
And the little gray mouse, she called her Blink,
And the little yellow dog was sharp as Mustard,
But the dragon was a coward, and she called him Custard.

Custard the dragon had big sharp teeth,
And spikes on top of him and scales underneath,
Mouth like a fireplace, chimney for a nose,
And realio, trulio, daggers on his toes.

The story goes on to tell about the arrival of a pirate, and how Custard the Dragon defended Belinda and everyone else. The pirate had a wooden leg, and bad aim. You should read it sometime!

This blog entry is about custard, how to make it and what you can do with it.

Learn to make a basic custard ... take egg yolks and slowly cook 'em with steam in a double-boiler. Add what you wish to make wonderful food!
Go onto a good chefs' website, like and hunt for ideas that will tickle your fancy.

If you use a basic custard and add a bit of wine and sugar, you will make Sabayon.

If you make basic custard and add a bit of sugar, a lot of lemon juice and citrus peel zest and then (later) some chilled whipped cream, you can make a delicious semifreddo.

Make your custard carefully. Once on the heat, don't stop stirring with a whisk ... and don't boil the water hard. 'Piano, piano', as one of my teaching chefs used to say. 'Softly, softly'. This is custard you are making, not tuning Dad's Chevy with Vice-Grips.

Here's a recipe for delicious semifreddo. I have added a basic way to make a berry coulis. Experiment! Don't be afraid ... every mess can be cleaned up.

So, at the end, you might be making a delicious, delightful dish like this for your customers:

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