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This Month in our Test Kitchen...

As the delicious. team cook and test recipes, there’s constant tinkering and fervent discussion: timesaving ideas; new tricks they’ve heard of; some technique they’ve dreamed up and want to try… Then there are the questions and input they get from colleagues as they come to see what’s cooking. On these pages, our aim (with input from our regular experts) is to reproduce that test kitchen atmosphere, sharing the most useful ideas and tips we’ve discovered. It’s cookery gold!

DO YOU REALLY NEED TO…

REST CUSTARD MIXTURES BEFORE USING THEM?

It’s not essential, but it does make a difference, whether it’s a rich custard base for ice cream or an uncooked custard mixture for puds like crème caramel, lemon tart and bread and butter pudding. With uncooked custards, you beat the eggs and sugar, then add the milk/cream, either cold or warm. Straining the mixture, then leaving it to stand for at least an hour or even overnight, allows air bubbles to rise to the surface, creating a foam that you can easily skim off. When you cook the custard, the result will be much smoother.

With cooked custard bases for ice cream, cooling the custard, then chilling it overnight, allows the fat in the milk and cream to bind better with the emulsifiers in the egg yolks (it’s why the rested – or ‘aged’ – ice cream mix is thicker than when it’s just been made). This gives a smoother ice cream. The extra time also lets flavours such as vanilla infuse through the mix.

MAKE THE BOUNTY LAST

SEVILLE ORANGES

These dimpled globes bring a colour and zest to January that’s worth maintaining year-round…

FREEZE …whole, in plastic bags. Defrost before using.

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About Delicious Magazine

Tuck into the January issue of Delicious – it’s packed with comforting recipes including Nigel Slater’s warming wonders, three-ways with meatballs, main-meal soups, Alpine recipes for mountainous appetites and a heartwarming mac ‘n’ cheese. Plus, there are great no-faff midweek meals, lighter recipes for the new year and foolproof guides to perfect Yorkshire puds, sourdough bread and pork wontons – satisfaction guaranteed.
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