A photo of some custard in a ramekin with some slices of strawberryI love custard. I could eat it on its own, hot or cold, for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

You can determine the thickness of your custard by how much corn flour you use: 2 tsp will be fairly runny when hot, but it will thicken as it cools. Use more corn flour when you want your custard thicker.

600 ml single cream*
5 large egg yolks
2 tsp vanilla extract
2-5 tsp corn flour
75 g xylitol

1. Put all the ingredients apart from the cream into a large wide-necked jug and mix thoroughly.

2. Put the cream into a saucepan and bring to the boil on a gentle heat, stirring constantly.

3. Take the cream off the heat and pour it slowly into the jug whilst whisking all the time.

4. Pour the mixture back into the saucepan (or if you detect any signs of burning on the bottom or edges of the saucepan, transfer to a fresh saucepan) and gently heat without boiling until the custard has thickened. This should take 1-2 minutes. If the custard starts to separate and becomes granular, this means that it has over-heated. You can get it back to a smooth consistency by taking the saucepan off the heat and cooling the custard by whisking it until it becomes smooth again.

* Substitutions

You can make this custard lactose-free by substituting ordinary cream for Lactofree cream.

Serving ideas

Serve hot or cold, and as an accompaniment to cakes, puddings and fresh fruit.

Copyright © Tarja Moles 2012. Photograph © Tarja Moles 2012.

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Tarja Moles is the author of No Naughties: Sweet Treats without Sugar, Wheat, Gluten and Yeast. Visit for free recipes and information on special diets and living with multiple dietary restrictions.