Fruit Custard is one of the easiest desserts to make that provides that initial “wow” factor as well as a hint of sweetness. It only needs a simple crust, a baked custard, the fruit of your choice. Maybe throw in some artistic ability too! This truly special (and somehow uncommon) dish is insanely easy to upgrade- see Stage 2 sections below. It also requires ZERO fancy appliances or special tools. Fruit Custard is perfect for beginners and experts alike. It’s beautiful, simple, and a great use of overripe fruits.Jump to Recipe
Choosing the right blend of fruits can make or break this dish. First, see if you have any ripe fruits all ready to use. If not, then check to see what is in season. As a general rule, fruits with a skin are a good bet. These include berries, peaches and nectarines, apples, and more. The key is finding the right levels of moisture and stability. For example, watermelons have entirely too much liquid that, when released, will interfere with the custard. As far as stability, bananas and the like are too soft to maintain their structure and instead turn to mush.
I chose nectarines for a few reasons. Firstly, I enjoy the taste (which is enhanced with baking). Second, three nectarines sat in my fridge for a week or so and began to get soft. The higher moisture content made for a little leaking into the custard, but not much. Here are some more ideas for combinations.
- Cinnamon Apples
- Mixed Berries – Raspberry, Blueberry, and Blackberry
- Strawberry and Peach
- Nectarine and Blackberry
- Be creative, come up with your own combinations!
Want to use more wet fruits? You can either dehydrate (using a dehydrator or manually, see link below) them before baking or can add them to the top after you’ve finished baking. Be aware that baking a plain custard will decrease your baking time.
Design is a massive part of any fruit custard. For my custard, I chose a rose-inspired design. Because, I think it works well with wedge slices. For more inspiration, see the Pinterest board below.
We make our crust out of graham crackers (or vanilla wafers), butter, and sugar. Seems simple, right? That’s because it is. Begin by forming the graham crackers into crumbs. This can be done in a food processor or by hand. Then add in the melted butter and sugar. Finally, press the mix into the bottom of the dish and prebake. DO NOT prebake with crust on the sides. This causes burning during the final bake.
Why do I need to prebake?
Prebaking or Parbaking the crust ensures that the crust does not move during the pouring of the custard. While not required, not parbaking results in the custard mixing with the crumb and having a soggier base.
Don’t have a food processor?
Don’t worry. Crushing graham crackers by hand is very easy (and pretty fun too). Start by breaking your crackers up into smaller pieces with your hands and placing the pieces in a large zip-lock bag. Then use a rolling pin, your hands, or any other utensil to fully grind the crackers to crumbs. Voila, cracker crumbs without a food processor.
The custard we use is one of the easiest options. Mix your ingredients together, then pour into the dish, bake, and you’re done.This dish is not very sweet as written, so , when using berries or more tart fruits, consider adding more sugar to your custard. Up to 3/4 cup.
Stage 2 Additions and Alterations for an Expert Finish
To take this recipe to the next level, we add a caramel sauce, of course. First, add your sugar and water to a saucepan on medium heat. Wait until the sugar begins to boil and gain color, stirring continuously. Then add a small amount of heavy cream to stop the browning and repeat this process until you have a beautiful, brown caramel sauce. Adding spices such as nutmeg and cinnamon also add dimension to dish. They can be incorporated into the custard or sprinkled on top.
- 10 inch Quiche or Tart dish, Round Ceramic dish
- Food processor
- A Bowl- I prefer Pyrex glass
- Spatula or Wooden Spoon
- Dehydrator (optional)
- Saucepan (optional)
- 1 stick Butter salted
- 2 packages Graham Crackers
- 1/4 cup Brown Sugar (optional)
- 3-4 Overripe Nectarines, Peaches, Apples, or similar fruit
- 4 Eggs
- 1 1/2 cup White, granulated Sugar 1/2 cup for custard, 1 cup for optional caramel sauce
- 2 cups Milk
- ` 1/2 cup Heavy Cream 1/2 cup for custard, up to a cup for optional caramel sauce
- 1 tsp Salt
- Cinnamon, Nutmeg, or other spices, extracts (optional)
- 1/4 cup Water (for optional caramel sauce)
- Preheat your oven to 325 degrees.
- Melt the butter by microwaving for 30 seconds,
- Grind your graham crackers to crumbs in a food processor,
- Add brown sugar to your graham cracker crumbs, and pour the mixture into a 10 inch ceramic baking dish.
- Then, drizzle the butter over top to combine and press the crust dough into an even layer on the bottom of the dish using your hands or a spatula. Save any extra crumbs to use on the sides or the top (optional).
- Bake the crust for around 5 minutes, long enough to set, but not long enough to brown at all.
- Set the crust out and allow to cool while you prep the fruit.
- Start by washing your fruits and cutting them into wedges.
- Then, place the fruits on the crust. From here, you can choose to add crust to the sides of the pan or leave them bare.
- Combine the eggs, white sugar, milk, heavy cream, and salt and whisk everything together. For a sweeter product, add more sugar. For an upgrade, add applicable spices.
- Slowly and gently pour the custard over the fruit.
- Bake for 1 hour or until the crust is dark brown and the custard has set. You should be able to stick in a knife and pull it out clean.
Stage 2- Caramel Sauce
- Combine the water and a cup of sugar in a saucepan on medium, stirring constantly
- Wait for the sugar to boil and begin to brown.
- Then add a small amount of heavy cream to stop the browning.
- Repeat the process until you are left with a smooth, browned sauce. Be careful not to overcook or the caramel will harden.
Try out this fruit custard and let us know your results in the comments below. Stay Sour!