Pudingpor (Pudding Powder) is similar to Bird's Custard Powder in the UK.
Both of them can be mixed with milk only or have sugar and/or cinnamon added for example.
Bird's custard powder makes a naturally creamy custard. Add more custard powder for a thicker custard.
If you are going to add flavouring to your custard, just a couple of drops will do.
Below I will be showing you how to make basic custard using custard powder and milk only, as well as a traditional Hungarian way; which is more or less the same but uses sugar too and a slightly different cooking method.
Custard is a very easy desert topping to make, especially in these days of finer ingredients that are easier to work with. Instant Custard from a tin or packet is a testament to this. Gone are the days of lumpy custard!
Custard Powder is a cornflour-based powder that contains starch, which naturally thickens up. Some people add egg yolks to thicken up their custard while others add sugar and salt to add more flavour. However, many brand-name and modern-day custard powders already contain 'enough' salt, sugar and other flavourings (such as vanilla) as well as powdered milk. So I advise you read their labelling before adding more flavouring for example.
STEP #1 - Put 68ml of Cold (Or Room Temperature) Milk into an empty saucepan and then stir in 2 Tablespoons of Custard Powder. Make sure all of the bits of custard powder have completely dissolved into the milk by thoroughly stirring in the custard powder, otherwise you will end up with lumpy hardened bits. This is very important if you want to avoid lumps and achieve a creamy-yellow coloured milk.
The initial lumps in the mix should dissolve when using a quality custard powder
The initial lumps in the 'custard powder and milk' mix should dissolve if your custard powder is of good quality - I use Morrisons supermarket own brand and it never fails me; even though it is cheap in price!
STEP #2 - Add 500ml of Cold (Or Room Temperature) Milk to the 'custard powder and milk' mix (creamy-yellow coloured milk).
STEP #3 - Additional add vanilla essence, nutmeg, cinnamon, 2-4 tablespoons of sugar and/or 4 egg yolks (to thicken); if you want to experiment. I sometimes use one broken up cinnamon stick. It smells nice and taste nice.
STEP #4 - Light up a gas hob, to a medium heat and then put the saucepan on it.
What is a Medium Heat? - Medium Heat is when the gas flames circle the half-way point between a saucepan's dead centre (middle) and a saucepan's edge.
STEP #5 - Stir the cold custard mixture ('custard powder and milk' mixture) continuously, in 5 second intervals, for 6-8 minutes until it starts to bubble and then boil. At that point (boiling point), turn off the gas hob.
STEP #6 - Serve the custard. Before serving, some people like to sieve their custard and put it into a new jug ready for serving. However, I never sieve my custard because I like it a little runny/creamy.
A nice, not lumpy, yellow custard served with sponge cake
NOTE: Custard when left to go cold will naturally thicken more and become more of a blancmange consistency. If you want your custard slight thicker, you can add double cream to it (i.e. 300ml of milk and 200ml of double cream) and/or add more custard powder. It is all about personal taste and experimentation.
The traditional Hungarian way of making custard is identical to the above cooking method, but they boil their 500ml of milk and then add it to their 68ml cold milk mixture that consists of 68ml of cold (or room temperature) milk, a 40g packet of custard powder (pudingpor / pudding powder) and 4 tablespoons of white granulated sugar (kristálycukor) before stirring for another minute or so.
TÜNDE'S NOTES: The traditional Hungarian mixture needs constant stirring to prevent lumps. I do NOT recommend boiling the 500ml of milk and adding it to the 68ml mixture as it will cause lumping. I recommend using 500ml of cold (or room temperature) milk with the 68ml mixture and then boil the whole 568ml from cold. So use John's method, but add 4 tablespoons of white sugar to the 68ml of cold milk and pudingpor.