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A true custard is a sweet mixture made from egg and milk, plus a little flavouring - and depends entirely on eggs to thicken it - it can be used as a sauce or as part of a cold dessert.
Custard made in this way must have the correct proportion of eggs to liquid, or it won"t set, or will be over-firm. Adding too much sugar also prevents setting, and cooking too fast or for too long produces curdling.
Custard is most often experienced in the home made from a convenience powder, which often hasn"t seen an egg, and is heavily flavoured with vanilla.
There is no French word for custard, the general term for the dish being 'crème' as in 'Crème caramel'. See our Recipe Section.