(makes 550ml/enough for 8-10 serves)

This is a very smooth and unctuous runny brandy custard.

This recipe forms a part of Ruth Pretty's Christmas Pudding recipe.


150ml (1/2 cup + 1 tbsp + 2 tsp) milk
150ml (1/2 cup + 1 tbsp + 2 tsp) cream
1/2 vanilla bean (split in half lengthwise)

4 egg yolks
80g (8 tbsp) castor sugar
30ml (2 tbsp) brandy


  • Place milk, cream and vanilla bean into a heavy-based saucepan placed over medium heat. Heat to just below boiling point.
  • Place egg yolks and castor sugar into a bowl and whisk till pale and thick.
  • Pour scalded milk and cream over egg mixture, whisking continuously.
  • Return mixture to saucepan and place over low heat. Stir with a wooden spoon till mixture coats the back of the spoon. Do not allow the mixture to boil as it will curdle.
  • Strain custard through a fine sieve. Retain vanilla bean for future use. Add brandy, stir to combine and chill till required or for up to three days.
  • Serve cold if you wish or gently reheat to serve warm.