Bananas and Custard

*Bananas and Custard*
Serves 4

You can call it many names . . . creme de la vanille, creme anglaise . . . it matters not. It's all vanilla custard and it is wonderfully delicious when properly made and homemade. Why anyone would ever bother with the powdered version when they can make it so easily from scratch is beyond my comprehension!

1 pint whole milk (2 cups)
1 vanilla pod
4 egg yolks
1 TBS caster sugar
4 medium bananas

Put the milk in a saucepan. Slit the vanilla pod down the centre and scrape out the seeds into the milk with a sharp knife. Drop the split pod into the milk as well. Heat the milk over a medium heat, just until you see bubbles forming around the edges. Remove from the heat and remove the vanilla pod. (Just rinse it off and dry it and you can then stick it into your sugar bin where it will give your sugar a lovely flavour and fragrance . . . no worries and no waste.)

Beat together the egg yolks and the sugar. Pour the hot milk over top of it very slowly, whisking constantly. Strain the mixture into the top of a double boiler. Place over the top of the bottom of the double boiler over simmering water and cook ove rvery low heat, stirring all the time. When it thickens to the consistency of double cream (it should coat the back of your spoon), remove it from the heat and pour it straight into a bowl to reduce the heat. Let cool to warm, before proceeding.

The secret to successful custard is to not be in a hurry. If the worse happens and it starts to separate, whizz it in the blender. You can of course, pre-empt this problem by adding a small teaspoon of cornstarch to the egg yolks before adding the milk.

Peel and slice the bananas into four dessert dishes. Spoon the warm custard over top of them and serve.
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