I hate fruits. It is a family folklore how much I hated bananas while I was growing up and that formed one of the basis of the first food blog post of this blog. (The pictures are amateurish but we keep it as a proof from where we had started and it is passion and love for food which made us do so many posts). I never liked grapes, guava, oranges, wax apple, water melons, jamun and the list continues. As a matter of fact, I don’t remember loving any fruit barring apples (occasionally and only a couple of slices) and mangoes only on immense and enduring insistence by Ma. I had grown up surrounded by trees, have seen and still remember my childhood friends plucking fruits out of trees but never got excited about it. Anything with a slight trace of FRUIT written on it would repel me a 100 miles in true sense.
Experimentation of dessert has not been my forte during my childhood as well as adolescence period, which makes me slightly uni dimensional, as far as love for food is concerned. So custard, has also been very very far off the radar. While in my growing years, custard was never made at home, Madhushree had plenty of it. It was almost a staple at her place for dinner with roti.
My Dadu (grandfather) used to work at a very senior level at Indian Railways in the 30s era and earlier. So he had enjoyed the best of the perks possible, which also included the khansamas and the bawarchis who, as my Dimma (grandmother) used to complain, had spoilt my Dadu in terms of the culinary exploits. Dimma complained because once Dadu had retired, the entire responsibility of pampering the luxurious taste buds fell into Dimma’s lap and without any help. There have been days when at the age of 70, she would start preparing for the kebabs since morning. Remember, this was the late 70s and early 80s. Mixer grinder was a luxury, rice cooker was available in the form of icmic cooker and pressure cookers were assets. Dimma used to make custards for us when we used to visit her and this fruit custard was her speciality. The process of making me eat that is a family folklore which shall be censored here. Food memories are always associated with persons for me.
One of the advantages of this fruit custard is that it overpowers or conceals the fruits in it. So even if for a middle aged fruit hating person, it is not as painful to eat the fruit chunks overloaded with cream and sweetness. And truth be told, I actually asked for a second helping.
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- 600 ml Milk
- 6 tbsp condensed milk
- 1 no vanilla pod
- 1 tsp vanilla essence
- 1 no egg yolk
- 3 tbsp cornflour
- 1 tsp nutmeg powder
- 1/2 cup golden raisins and chopped cashews
- 2 cups chopped fruits I have used mangoes, green grapes, apples, bananas, red grapes and aam papad or mango fruit leather,.
- In a heavy bottomed saucepan, bring the milk to boil along with condensed milk and vanilla pod (split the pod and scrape out the vanilla into the milk and also add the empty pod into the milk).
- Check the milk for sweetness and add more condensed milk if necessary.
- Once it has boiled, turn off the heat and let it cool down.
- In the meanwhile, in a separate large bowl, take the yolk an mix it with corn flour and vanilla essence. Add a tbsp of milk to help in making a smooth paste.
- Once the milk has cooled down, slowly pour it in the bowl of the yolk paste while stirring constantly to make sure that the paste has completely dissolved in the milk.
- Now take the saucepan back to the flame and strain the milk into the sauce pan.
- On a medium heat at first and then at low heat, continue cooking the milk.
- Add the nutmeg powder and stir. You need to stir constantly while keeping the heat low so that the egg doesn't scramble or the milk doesn't split.
- While stirring for about 5 to 6 minutes, you will start to notice that the milk is getting thicker. At this point, it is upto your judgement or I would say, preference, for the amount of thickness of the milk. Just remember that once the back of the spoon is coated with the custard base, it should work alright. Also, when the custard cool down, it thickens up further.
- Once you have achieved your desired consistency, turn off the heat and let the custard cool down.
- Add the chopped fruits and nuts. It is not necessary that you add only 2 cups of chopped fruits. Use as much as you want depending on the amount of liquid that you will like in the custard.
- Keep the custard in the refrigerator and serve chilled.