Cheap eats January #6: Make your own custard

 

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It’s really easy to make your own custard – all from store cupboard ingredients along with organic eggs, and milk – and you can make it dairy free by using coconut drinking milk (I am sure you could use other dairy free milks but I haven’t tried them as yet).

This is enough for two good sized portions for kids – just double the amounts for more. You can keep what you don’t use in the fridge for a few days. I’ve worked out the cost, and making it with milk and caster sugar costs 44p, Making it with maple syrup (so it has no refined sugar in it) costs 81p.

You will need…

2 egg yolks*
200ml of semi skimmed milk, whole milk or coconut milk drink
1.5 teaspoons of cornflour
1 tablespoon maple syrup (or caster sugar)
Capful vanilla extract

How to…

Bring the milk to the boil in a pan.
Whisk the egg yolks with the maple syrup in a large bowl or jug.
Mix the cornflour with a teaspoon of water so it makes a paste.
Whisk the cornflour and vanilla extract into the egg mixture.
Pour the milk into the egg mixture whisking all the time.
Put it back in the pan and bring to the boil again, whisking all the time, it will thicken.

Serve with seasonal fruit (steamed or baked apple, rhubarb, or sliced banana) or crumble if you have time to make it.

Weaning

If you’re making this for infants under 1 year, don’t add any sugar or maple syrup – the vanilla extract will add enough sweetness, all you need to do is whisk the cornflour and vanilla in with the egg yolks.

 Nutrition

A portion of custard provides good amounts of calcium, phosphorous, vitamin A, riboflavin, vitamin B6 and vitamin B12.

*You can use the two egg whites along with another egg and make an omelette or keep them for this banana macaroon recipe. You can refrigerate in an airtight container for a couple of days, or freeze for longer.

 

 

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Rhubarb crumble with wholegrain spelt flour

The weather has been so grey and wet for weeks, so really wanted to make a comfort pudding after roast chicken for Sunday Lunch.

Apples are out of season now and of course soft fruits aren’t in yet, so rhubarb fitted the bill. I used spelt flour and oats, to add more fibre and B vitamins. Spelt flour, even though it does contain gluten, can often be tolerated well by people who are wheat intolerant. It adds a lovely nutty flavour to the crumble.

I made mine 1:1 spelt to white spelt flour which makes for a slightly lighter crumble. I have tried it with 100% whole grain spelt flour, which is denser, it worked – and was eaten happily by my daughter and husband without question or comment. I have made crumbles with 100% wholemeal wheat flour which doesn’t work as well as spelt flour which has a lovely nutty flavour.

You will need for 6 people…

Crumble…

100g organic spelt wholegrain flour
100g organic spelt white flour
25g oats
70g rapadura* sugar or other unrefined sugar
100g unsalted butter

Filling …
500g rhubarb washed, topped and tailed and cut into chunks
2 tablespoons of maple syrup

How to…

First pre-heat your oven to 190˚C (170˚C fan oven) / gas mark 5 / 375˚F.

Rub together the flour, sugar and butter with fingertips until it looks like breadcrumbs. Shake the bowl to get big lumps to the top and rub these in to get an even texture. Add in the oats and stir through.

Mix the rhubarb with the maple syrup so that its evenly coated. Put in a shallow ovenproof dish.Pour the crumble mixture on top and put in the oven to cook for 25-30 minutes.

Serve with custard or vanilla ice cream.

And after lunch…the sun came out for what seemed like the first time in weeks.

My blueberry plants are in bloom and attracting bees. Who’d have known they would be such a pretty addition to the garden…as well as, hopefully giving me my first crop of blueberries.

The bees had gone by the time I took these pictures, but they are so lovely I had to share them.

 

*Rapadura sugar is unrefined cane sugar. Because it is unrefined it still has some of the vitamins and minerals from the whole cane present – including iron and vitamin C. In fact a teaspoon contains 11% of your recommended daily intake of iron. Though of course it’s still sugar, it’s worth noting that white processed sugar contains no vitamins or minerals at all just sugar – empty calories.