custard troubles...

2
10
Joined Mar 28, 2004
i've now made this fruit tart a few times.
first time the custard filling set nicely, and the tart could be cut into nice pieces.
the past two times i've made the custard though, it seems to set like a pudding, then i put it in the tart shell, top with the fruit, and the whole thing turns to a thick cream.
no body at all.
after putting it back in the fridge overnight, it still wouldn't set properly, and the filling pours over my serving dish and off the slices.
tastes great, looks terrible.
ideas?
 
2,938
11
Joined Mar 4, 2000
Without knowing what sort of custard you made, I assume it was a pastry cream with cornstarch or flour, and eggs.

If so, the length of time it cooked could have a lot to do with the thickness of the final product.

Maybe you can post your recipe and procedure so we can help you out.
 
2
10
Joined Mar 28, 2004
here's the recipe...
3 cups heavy cream
5 egg yolks
1/4c corn starch
2 cups sugar
1 vanilla bean

2 cups of cream get combined with the sugar and vanilla bean in a saucepan and brought to a gentle boil.
in another bowl, 1 cup of cream gets combined with the egg yolks and corn starch.
when the cream and sugar are boiling, the egg mixture is slowly added, whisking until the product thickens.

perhaps i'm not cooking until the appropriate thickness is achieved?
if that's the case, what would the appropriate hot thickness be comparable to?
my thinking is probably such that things will set up in the fridge.
this apparently isn't the case though.

thanks for the help!
 
2,938
11
Joined Mar 4, 2000
Wow, that is a RICH custard! My pastry cream uses half milk/half cream, with a few whole eggs to bind things up more firmly. Either way, the cornstarch is the issue here, and you have to cook these kinds of custards past the boiling point, in order to ensure that the starchy mouthfeel has cooked out. This usually takes at least a minute or two, depending on the size of the batch. Just taste it to make sure it's not chalky.

It also can't hurt to incorporate a 5% ratio of butter at the end. As it chills, it will give more body to the cream.
 
2,938
11
Joined Mar 4, 2000
PS- If you know how to temper hot liquid into eggs, you'll save yourself a lot of waiting around for the second addition of liquids to boil. ;)
 
205
10
Joined Oct 9, 2002
Can the fruit also be to blame? There was no mention of what kinds of fruit and I recall that acids from some fruits will break down the custard.
 
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