I love custard.
I’m not talking about the made-from-scratch-faff-about-with-eggs-and-vanilla-pods stuff, nor the tetra pac/tinned pre-made stuff, but proper custard. Made-from-Birds-custard-powder custard. I understand that my Grandpa was somehow involved with Birds, and may be it’s because of that that I feel so attached to it. He died when I was 5 (went to sleep after a Sunday roast and never woke up – how brilliant is that?), and although we have photos of him, my only real memories of him are his tweed trouser’d knees and the smell of pipe smoke.
But whether it’s because of my Grandpa, or not, custard is one of those long-standing things from my childhood: fruit crumble and custard in winter and banana custard (sliced banana topped with custard and left to go cold with a skin on) in summer. I still make it now - from the powder - I love the whole thing - mixing the powder to a paste with a little cold milk - heating the rest of the milk up, then the hot milk into cold paste and back into the pan thing. And I know the idea of skin on custard makes some people shudder in revulsion, but for me, it’s a prize worth fighting for.Anyway, recently, I have been woken up to the idea of using custard powder in baking – after all, it’s only cornflour with some flavouring, isn’t it. And because of my love of making up the custard, I always have custard powder in the cupboard.
Sometime later, when I was flirting with Dan Lepard, I tried his passion fruit melting moments from Short & Sweet. Not a huge success, it must be said, mainly because of the passion fruit seeds in the biscuits. The kids even asked if I would make them again but without the passion fruit – which was kind of the point in the first place...
Then last week, in a moment of weakness and exhaustion while trailing round Tescos with the kids on the way back from a very wet one night (yes, that Thursday) of camping in half term, I crumbled to pressure and bought a pack of custard creams. It’s some time since I made Nigella’s and the kids go mad for them. I had to ration them out. With that in mind, and looking for something quick to bake on Thursday, I made a batch of these babies: custard & white chocolate biscuits . The recipe is there, on the Good Food website, so I won’t repeat it here, suffice to say that they are (1) brilliant (2) dead easy and (3) utterly scrummy.
If you read the comments on the Good Food website for this recipe, you’ll see that no one could test the assertion that they will last for up to 2 weeks in a tin. I can concur – they are too good!