Classic Kiwi Custard: A Deliciously Creamy NZ Treat

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Custard, that comforting dessert enjoyed by generations, holds a special place in New Zealand hearts. This classic recipe delivers a smooth, creamy texture and a taste that’s both rich and familiar. It’s perfect for a quick weeknight treat, a special occasion finale, or simply satisfying a sweet tooth.


How to Make Custard Square with Frozen Puff Pastry
How to Make Custard Square with Frozen Puff Pastry

4 cups whole milk

  • 1 cup caster sugar
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (or 1 vanilla bean, split)
  • Ground nutmeg (for garnish, optional)

  • Instructions:

    1. Heat the Milk: In a medium saucepan, heat the milk over medium heat until just simmering. Don’t let it boil! Keep an eye on it to avoid scorching.

    2. Whisk the Egg Yolks: While the milk heats, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar in a large bowl until light and fluffy. You can use a hand mixer for a quicker process.

    3. Temper the Eggs: Slowly whisk the hot milk into the egg yolk mixture, a little at a time, to prevent the eggs from scrambling. Once all the milk is incorporated, whisk the mixture well.

    4. Thicken the Custard: Return the mixture to the saucepan and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until the custard thickens. It should coat the back of a spoon and leave a clean trail when you draw your finger across it. This will take about 5-7 minutes. Be patient and don’t let it boil!

    5. Strain (optional): If you used a vanilla bean, remove it from the custard at this point. You can also strain the custard through a fine-mesh sieve to remove any cooked egg particles for a perfectly smooth texture.

    6. Flavor and Chill: Stir in the vanilla extract and allow the custard to cool slightly. Then, pour it into a serving dish or individual ramekins. Cover with plastic wrap directly on the surface of the custard to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or until completely chilled.

    7. Serve and Enjoy: Once chilled, sprinkle with ground nutmeg (optional) and serve.

    Nutrition Facts (per serving):

    Calories: 300

  • Fat: 15g
  • Saturated Fat: 9g
  • Cholesterol: 210mg
  • Sodium: 70mg
  • Carbohydrates: 35g
  • Sugar: 25g
  • Protein: 5g

  • Please note: This is an approximate nutritional value based on the ingredients listed. Actual values may vary depending on the specific brands used.


    This New Zealand custard recipe is a timeless treasure. It’s easy to make, uses readily available ingredients, and delivers a taste that’s sure to please. So next time you’re craving a delicious and comforting dessert, give this recipe a try.

    Frequently Asked Questions:

    1. Can I use low-fat milk?

    Yes, you can substitute low-fat milk for whole milk in this recipe. However, the custard will have a slightly thinner texture and less rich flavor.

    2. Can I use cornstarch alternatives?

    Yes, you can substitute cornstarch with arrowroot powder in a 1:1 ratio. However, arrowroot powder can thicken more quickly, so keep an extra close eye on the custard as it cooks.

    3. How long will the custard last in the fridge?

    Homemade custard will last for up to 3 days in the refrigerator in an airtight container.

    4. Can I freeze custard?

    Yes, you can freeze custard for up to 3 months. Thaw it overnight in the refrigerator before serving. The texture may be slightly different after freezing.

    5. Can I make this recipe vegan?