Vegan Vanilla Custard: 4 Tips For Making This Eggless Treat

Making eggless custard isn’t a chore, especially if you can find the right substitutes and can be mindful of the consistency and temperature. Using a cornstarch slurry instead of eggs is your best bet since egg acts as a binding and thickening agent and cornstarch serves the same purpose.

In the case of eggless custards, always let them settle in the freezer and serve them chilled. Proper chilling is essential to set the custard. Transfer the hot custard to a clean bowl or individual serving dishes to cool slightly before covering it with plastic wrap or parchment paper. This helps prevent skin from forming on the surface of the custard as it cools. For best results, chill the custard overnight to enhance its flavour and texture. Here are some other pointers that will help you make an eggless vanilla custard at home.

Choose the Right Milk Substitute

The foundation of any custard is its base, typically made with milk. When making eggless custard, selecting the right milk substitute is crucial for achieving the desired texture and flavour. Opt for a dairy-free alternative such as almond milk, coconut milk, soy milk, or oat milk. Each option offers a unique taste profile, so choose one that complements the flavours of vanilla.

If you prefer a richer custard, coconut milk can provide a luxurious creaminess, while almond milk offers a lighter alternative. Be mindful of the consistency of your chosen milk substitute; some varieties may be thinner than others so they may need adjustments in the amount of thickening agent used later in the recipe.

Use Cornstarch or Arrowroot Powder as a Thickening Agent

Traditionally, custards rely on eggs to thicken the mixture and create a smooth, pudding-like texture. In eggless recipes, cornstarch or arrowroot powder serves as an excellent alternative thickening agent. These starches effectively bind the ingredients together while providing stability and body to the custard.

To incorporate cornstarch or arrowroot powder into your eggless vanilla custard, mix it with a small amount of cold milk or water to create a slurry before adding it to the heated milk mixture. This helps prevent lumps and ensures even distribution of the thickening agent. 

Infuse Flavor with Real Vanilla Beans or Extract

Vanilla is the star ingredient in any vanilla custard, imparting its signature aroma and flavour to the dessert. While vanilla extract is a convenient option, using real vanilla beans can elevate the taste of your eggless custard to new heights. The tiny seeds within vanilla beans contain an intense flavour that infuses the custard with rich, natural vanilla essence.

To incorporate real vanilla beans into your custard, split the bean lengthwise and scrape out the seeds with the back of a knife. Add both the seeds and the scraped bean pod to the milk mixture while heating, allowing the flavours to meld together. If you're using vanilla extract, opt for a high-quality, pure extract for the best results. Add the extract to the custard mixture just before removing it from the heat to preserve its delicate flavour.

Achieve the Perfect Consistency through Proper Cooking Techniques:

One of the challenges of making eggless vanilla custard is achieving the ideal consistency without the help of eggs. Proper cooking techniques are essential for achieving a smooth, velvety texture that coats the back of a spoon. When cooking the custard mixture, maintain a medium-low heat to prevent scorching and curdling.

Stir the custard continuously with a whisk or wooden spoon to distribute the heat evenly and prevent lumps from forming. As the mixture thickens, pay close attention to its consistency; it should coat the back of a spoon and leave a distinct trail when a finger is run through it. Avoid boiling the custard, as this can cause it to become grainy or curdled. Remove the custard from the heat as soon as it thickens.