For pouring

We all have treasured memories of puddings smothered in lashings of hot custard. If you make your own you can adapt the recipe, making it sweeter, more eggy or adding more vanilla, according to taste. You can even add a little crème fraîche to cut out the richness.

½ a vanilla pod
300ml single cream
5 egg yolks
60g caster sugar
2tsp cornflour

Split the vanilla pod in half lengthways and scrape out the seeds with the point of a knife. Put the cream, vanilla pod and seeds into a small saucepan and bring to the boil. Remove from the heat and leave to infuse for about 10 minutes. In a bowl mix the egg yolks, sugar and cornflour together. Remove the vanilla pod from the cream and pour on to the egg mixture and mix well with a whisk. Return to the pan and cook gently over a low heat for a few minutes, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon until the custard thickens; don't let it boil. Remove from the heat and give a final mix with a whisk before transferring to a clean bowl or pan. Cover with clingfilm to stop a skin forming.