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Custard Curdling for Ice Cream

Asked by aamir_akbarally. Answered on 6th May 2014

Full question

I was making the custard for the Strawberry Ice Cream recipe but the custard curdled a bit. What can I do?

Our answer

Nigella's Strawberry Ice Cream (from Nigella Summer and on the Nigella website) has an egg custard base that has a strawberry puree added to it before churning into ice cream. It would depend on how badly curdled your custard is but if there are just a few small curds in the custard then you can probably strain the custard to remove the curds, and then use the strained custard it in the ice cream. The texture of the ice cream may not be quite as smooth but as there will be some seeds from the strawberries then you may find that it is not noticeable.

If the custard is very badly curdled then you may have to make it again. To reduce the risk of curdling you may find it helpful to fill the kitchen sink with cold water before you cook the egg, sugar and cream mixture. If the custard looks like it is starting to curdle then dip the base of the saucepan in the cold water and whisk briskly. This will cool the custard quickly and stop any further curdling.

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