Custard is a thick sauce which has lovely golden yellow color, typically served with a desert as it is sweet. Custard is a delicious topping for apple pie or steamed sponge puddings or rhubarb crumble. It's believed that "proper custard is at the heart of a good pud."
If you've never tried custard the taste can be described as quite sweet, with a creamy texture to it. It has a thick, syrupy texture too. When you pour custard on the food, it tends to coat the food, which gives the desert an all over covering and stick to the desert.
Generally, you have to add your own milk and sugar to the custard powder and heat it on the stove. But you can also buy instant custard powder which already contains powdered milk and sugar and only requires the consumer to add hot water to make the custard.
Bird's Custard is a widely recognised brand name for a type of custard powder in UK. It is cornflour-based, and thickens to form a custard-like sauce when mixed with milk and heated to a sufficient temperature.
It was invented in 1837 by a gentleman called Alfred Bird (hence the name Bird's) because his wife was allergic to eggs which is the key ingredient used to thicken traditional custard.
According this review, Tesco Instant Custard was "no good because not only did it smell nothing like custard but it also tasted very little like it and rather than having a flowing creamy consistency it was watery with lumps."
This comments may also apply to Sainsbury's Instant Custard which I have tried recently. It's a sachet of custard powder. On the front of the sachet, is the product name and a short slogan:
simply add water, perfect with apple pie
It's main ingredients are:
Sugar, Modified Maize Starch, Vegetable Oil, Whey Powder (from Cows' Milk), Dried Glucose syrup, Flavourings, Colour: Beta Carotene, Stabiliser(Sodium Triphosphate).
You may notice that this instant custard powder is maize starch based, as is Bird's custard mentioned above, and it contains falvourings, colour and stabliser that many people don't like; There are no egg yolks which is the key ingredient of traditional custard.
To make an instant pouring custard, just empty the contents of the sachet into a measuring jug and pour on boiling water to make up to 3/4 pt. Whisk with a fork for about half a minute until smooth. When you pour in the boiling water do remember to stir quite vigorously so as not to create a lumpy custard or a film on top of the sauce. If you then let the custard stand for a few minutes it will go thick and creamy. The amount of water can be varied to change the thickness of the custard.