When I was a little girl I remember my mom making this delicious frozen treat that didn't quite have the texture of ice cream, but one that was more like a block of ice. It took a really long time to melt, but once it did, it was slushy and creamy and simply intoxicating! I recall the outstanding flavors of cinnamon and nutmeg, ones that would always brighten up my taste buds. There was one particular ingredient that made this custard block stand out from any other frozen treat, and that is Bird's Custard Powder.
Bird's Custard Powder is a British product and is used for its flavor as well as it's thickening properties. It is a cornstarch-based powder that becomes thick once the liquid is added and then heated to a low temperature. Many people use Bird's Custard Powder as a substitute for eggs in many dessert recipes. However, I never remembered my mom using this fragrant powder for anything else other than custard block and baked custard.
In one of my earlier posts from last year, I posted a recipe for custard block which was made with heavy cream and eggs. It was just as delicious but just didn't taste like my mom's. I have chosen to replace that recipe with this one, as this feels more authentic and close to my heart.
Custard Block: A Guyanese Frozen Treat
- two 12oz cans of evaporated milk
- 3 tbsp custard powder
- 3 tbsp + 1 tsp white sugar
- ¼ tsp cinnamon
- ¼ tsp nutmeg
- ¼ tsp almond essence
- 1 tsp vanilla
- In a mixing bowl, whisk all ingredients together until custard powder has completely dissolved.
- Pour mixture into a deep saucepan and turn heat to medium-low. With a spoon, continue to stir mixture until custard becomes slightly thick. If you walk away the custard will get lumpy and you will have to start over! If it coats the back of a spoon just slightly, then it is ready. See picture above with spoon test to visualize what this is supposed to look like when ready.
- Pour mixture into the desired dish and freeze for 5-6 hours.