There is nothing more refreshing in the summer than a delicious Indian fruit custard. I have had this dozen of times, if not hundreds, when visiting our local favorite Indian restaurant, but had never made it at home. Custards are always a favorite for me anyway, but something about this flavor and fruit combination just makes me happy. Recreating this at home was a must and now it has become a family favorite treat.
Indian Fruit Custard Recipe
Rich creamy custards are the base of many desserts. The first time I made one I was standing beside my Granny in the kitchen preparing a custard base for her famous coconut pie recipe. She taught me a lot about a basic custard, but sometimes I don't have time to do everything from scratch. Custards like this one are a slightly different choice that are just as tasty, but take a little less time to throw together.
What Makes This Different Than Other Custards?
There are two things that I find more common in an Indian style custard versus a regular plain custard. The first is that it usually uses a simple milk and custard powder base without the eggs found in other traditional custards. The second difference is in the addition of spices and fruits.
Specifically, an Indian custard will usually have cardamom or cinnamon along with mango as a fruit base. Mango juice or pulp is often used in place of part of the liquid in the recipe. There are also almost always bits of mango in an Indian custard. I've even seen versions with a few golden raisins and pistachios thrown in similar to a more traditional Indian rice pudding.
What Fruits Go In Indian Custard?
As mentioned above, you will almost always see mango in an Indian style custard. Bananas are another common fruit as well as golden raisins. Apples, pears, and grapes can also be found in custards. Of course, almost all custards will also include a topping of additional fruit pieces and a sprinkle of fresh pomegranate arils.
What is Custard Powder?
Custard powder is similar to a pudding mix in nature. It helps to thicken milk or cream into the custard texture you are looking for when making this dish. Some custard powders also have a flavor like vanilla, banana, or even mango. A plain custard powder works in this recipe and is what should be purchased.
If you do not have or cannot find custard powder, you can substitute equal amounts of arrowroot powder or cornstarch. The main purpose of the powder or powders is to thicken the milk and cream mixture. Simply make sure you are whisking until smooth and adding additional vanilla extract for flavor if needed.
Can I Substitute Fruit Juice in Place of Some of the Milk?
While the richness of the custard comes partially from the milk and cream, you can add a richer fruit flavor by using fruit nectar. I would not use a juice, but a pulp rich or thicker fruit nectar. Substitute ½ cup of liquid with the pulp or nectar in the mixture for added flavor.
- Whole milk
- Heavy cream
- Custard powder
- Vanilla extract
How to Make Indian Fruit Custard
In a large heavy-bottom saucepan, heat the milk and heavy cream over medium-high heat.
Once the mixture is hot but not boiling, take out 3 tablespoons of the liquid and place into a small bowl.
Whisk in 3 tablespoons of the custard powder (or cornstarch or arrowroot powder) to the milk mixture. Mix until there are no lumps then set it aside.
Now, stir the milk in the saucepan occasionally until it comes to a gentle boil then lower the heat to low.
Add in the sugar and stir to combine.
Now, add a little of the custard mix at a time whisking continuously after each addition.
Continue cooking for 2-3 minutes over low heat until the mixture has thickened.
Once the mixture begins to thicken, remove from the heat, and allow the mixture to cool down for 5 minutes.
Add in the cinnamon and vanilla, then cover and refrigerate for 20-30 minutes.
Cut any fruit you are adding to the custard, cover it, and let it refrigerate for the remaining time.
Remove both from the refrigerator, and divide the custard into serving dishes with the fruit, then cover them and refrigerate for an additional 1 hour to let the fruit flavors develop in the custard.
When ready to serve, top with additional pomegranate arils and chopped fruit.
More Indian Style Recipes
If you love traditional Indian flavors but want to avoid takeout, this list of recipes is going to provide you with delicious and easy meals your family will adore. Some are very authentic and others are an adaptation that include traditional flavors with an American spin. No matter which you choose, these are sure to be loved on your menu.
- Flavorful Chicken Dhansak Curry with Lentils
- Better Than Takeout Chicken Tikka Masala
- Spicy Red Lentil Curry Recipe with Spinach
- Creamy Indian Butter Chicken Recipe
- Savory Authentic Peanut Chicken Curry Recipe
- 5 Ingredient Potato Curry Recipe
- Classic Indian Green Curry
- Indian Stuffed Potato Paratha
- Authentic Indian Minced Meat Qeema
When shopping for ingredients, check your local ethnic food store or Asian market for custard powder. You'll easily find options that suit your needs and fit the traditional flavors of an Indian custard.
You can also pick up unique vintage dessert cups on Etsy or at a local thrift shop to serve this custard in to make it even more special.
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1 cup heavy cream
- ¼ cup sugar
- 3 tbsp custard powder
- ⅛ tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 cups fruit (banana, apple, mango)
- Heat the milk and heavy cream over medium-high heat in a heavy bottom saucepan;
- Once the mixture is hot but not yet boiling, remove 3 tablespoons of the milk mixture and place into a bowl along with 3 tablespoons of custard powder;
- Whisk the liquid and powder together until there are no lumps then set aside;
- Continue heating the milk mixture until it just begins to boil;
- Then reduce to low heat and add in the slurry of custard powder and milk a little at a time;
- Continue cooking this mixture stirring constantly until the custard thickens then remove from heat and cover to then refrigerate for 20-30 minutes;
- Chop the fresh fruit and refrigerate the remaining time until the custard is set;
- Now, add the fruit into the custard mixture and then divide into 4 serving cups;
- Cover the custard mixture and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving;
- Top with additional fruit and pomegranate arils.
Traditional fruits are mango, banana, apple,a nd pomegrante, but you can add any preferred fruit to this mixture.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 393Total Fat: 26gSaturated Fat: 16gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 86mgSodium: 81mgCarbohydrates: 35gFiber: 2gSugar: 29gProtein: 7g