Dessert Party: Vanilla Bean Custard Recipe And Vanilla Sugar

Vanilla Bean Custard Recipe And Vanilla SugarPerfect Vanilla Bean Custard. Yup, that’s what we’re making today. It will be featured in the Fresh Fruit Tartlets we’re having at our dessert party next week!  Yesterday, we prepared the Ganache, which is now wrapped and waiting in the fridge.  The party is going to be great, so don’t miss it!

There’s something very comforting about this custard.  Could be its sweetness? Or maybe just how creamy it is?  Perhaps it’s the incredible essence of vanilla?  I’m pretty sure it’s a combination of these, but you be the judge.  While I usually make this for my fruit tarts, it’s absolutely unbelievable on its own.  Unbelievable, I tell you!

This is also the perfect time to make Vanilla Sugar, so whatever you do, don’t discard your empty, soaked vanilla pods!  (See instruction no. 5.)

We’re one step closer to our calvalcade of desserts for our party!

Vanilla Bean Custard Recipe And Vanilla Sugar
Prep time
Total time
Makes about 3 cups
  • 1-1/2 cups whole milk
  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • 1 large vanilla pod
  • ⅛ cup cornstarch
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  1. Remove ¼ cup of the milk and set it aside. Add the remaining 1-1/4 cups of milk to the butter, sugar, and salt in a medium saucepan.
  2. Use a paring knife to slice open the ½ vanilla bean horizontally. With the back of the knife, scrape the vanilla beans into the saucepan and add the emptied pod as well.
  3. In a small bowl, add the egg to the reserved ¼ cup of milk and the cornstarch. Use a small whisk to blend it until it's smooth. (This is called a slurry.)
  4. Place the saucepan with the milk mixture over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and use a ladle to add about half of the hot milk mixture to the slurry and blend with the whisk. (This is called tempering.) Now you can add this to the remaining milk mixture in the saucepan and whisking constantly, bring it to a strong simmer. Remove from the heat and strain. Bring to room temperature or chill before using.
  5. To make the vanilla sugar, rinse and dry your empty vanilla pods and add them to a container of granulated sugar. (If the pods haven't been in any liquid, there's no need to rinse them.) I've been adding vanilla pods to the same container for years. The sugar takes on a lovely vanilla flavor. Use the vanilla sugar in anything you're baking -- cookies, cakes, and definitely add some to your coffee! Keep replenishing the sugar as you use it.
You can make the custard up to two days ahead of time. Store it in a bowl or plastic container and place a layer plastic wrap directly on the custard to keep it as fresh as possible.



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    • Cecilia Thurman says

      There is such a thing as Vanilla Sugar in Sweden that one uses for cookies, pastries and such … it’s almost like a powdered sugar but VERY fragrant from vanilla … think you may be able to find it at IKEA … I find it here at something called Global Foods which you would LOVE … truly a great big grocery store with GLOBAL foods … every country in the world represented and then some …

  1. Adrienne says

    I love this recipe for vanilla custard! Thanks! I always used pastry cream for fruit tarts, but this is much better!

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