Homemade Custard Squares

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Fiona Summerfield
We’ll get back to the great places we ate at in Melbourne next time. We’ve had snow again. This time we were here for it and it was big dumping for us. The last time I remember snow this thick was 1992.

By day three of no school and the rain now taking over from the snowing we decided to make custard squares. I wasn’t planning on making a trip to the supermarket so they had to be made with what we had in the house.

There are numerous recipes online. There is also one on the trademe forums that involves adding cream cheese. So I printed out a couple, including this one and also had The Edmonds book open. We decided to do a bit of mixing and matching and see where we ended up.

We had sheets of puff pastry in the freezer so we got them out and the kids poked them all over with a fork and we cooked them in the oven until they were crispy. While they were cooling we got on with concocting the custardy middle bit.

We were running out of cornflour so we used 4 tablespoons of cornflour, 4 tablespoons of custard powder, 3 tablespoons of icing sugar and a little milk to mix it altogether. Then we added another 2 cups of milk, 25g butter and heated it slowly on the stove. The kids got bored of stirring it so I was told to take over. It got lovely and thick and was looking perfect. We added in some vanilla extract and then in our mixing of recipes, we added an egg yolk and some cream cheese. The cream cheese was Saudi so it had salt in it – to balance it we added some agave syrup we had lying around. The kids did the taste testing until they deemed it was sweet enough. We spread it over the puff pastry base but realised it was too thin for proper custard squares. So we heaped it on one side of the puff pastry square and cut it in half. Unfortunately the lovely thick custard we had taken off the stove wasn’t so thick now we had added the egg and cream cheese. We used the other bits of pastry as side walls to hold the custard in and stuck the whole thing in the fridge.

The custard did thicken but was still runnier than I would have liked. We were running low on icing sugar but we made a thin icing for the top and covered it in coconut. We put it back in the fridge until after dinner.

It was not looking very attractive when we got the tray out to eat it but after we cut it into squares, they looked pretty good. So good I forgot to take a picture before we tucked in. The middle was very creamy but did need to be thicker. They were delicious though and I think we do need to make them again with further experimentation.


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