Fruit custard is a delicious creamy and rich chilled dessert made with custard powder, milk, seasonal fruits and nuts. Also known as fruit salad with custard, this is a popular dessert in India. Similar to other Indian desserts – Gulab jamun, Rasmalai and Carrot halwa, a chilled fruit custard makes its presence in most special meals and parties. Fruit custard can be a great summer treat to your friends, family and guests.
What is fruit custard?
Fruit custard is a dessert made by mixing chopped seasonal fruits with chilled cusard sauce. Custard is a saucy dish that was traditionally prepared with cream, milk and eggs. Today one can find so many ways of making a custard. The simplest way is to use a store bought custard powder like I have done for this post.
I have used a eggless custard powder that has no artificial colors and flavors. There are lot of brands selling custard powder.
Apart from basic vanilla flavor, it is also available in different flavors like banana, apple, pineapple and mango. But most of them are artificial flavors so I use only the basic one.
When you buy custard powder, do look for one that has no artificial colors & flavors. If you are unable to find custard powder then make your own following the instructions below
How to make custard without custard powder
Custard powder is nothing but corn starch or corn flour with flavoring ingredients added to it. So If you are not accessible to custard powder, you can make your own using corn flour (corn starch) or arrowroot powder.
To flavor the custard, just use vanilla extract or vanilla bean pod. To enhance the flavor of custard you can also use 3 to 4 tbsp dry milk powder.
Any seasonal fruits go well in this dessert. But most often I use banana, pomegranate, mango and apples. It is good to use sweet fruits and avoid sour ones.
Do not use citrus fruits like oranges, grapefruit, kiwi or mandarins. I also avoid grapes and pineapple too.
How to make fruit custard
1. Pour 2½ cups milk to a heavy bottom pan. Add 4 to 5 tablespoons sugar to it. Begin to heat it on a medium flame. Stir and dissolve the sugar.
2. Meanwhile add 3 tablespoons custard powder to a small mixing bowl. Pour ¼ cup milk (warm or at room temperature) and mix well. Using very hot milk sometimes curdles the custard.
3. The mixture has to be smooth without lumps.
4. When the milk turns hot (not boiling), regulate the flame to low and add 2 tablespoons of the custard milk to it. Immediately whisk or mix well to incorporate it with the milk.
5. You can use a whisk or a spatula to mix it. This avoids lumps.
6. Next pour another 2 tablespoons of custard milk & repeat whisking to avoid lumps. This way pour the custard milk in 3 batches until all of it is used up. Pouring all the custard milk at one time may make the mixture lumpy. You may taste it and add more sugar at this stage.
7. Regulate the flame to medium. Stir well as it continues to boil. With in few minutes, the mixture turns thick. Turn off the stove.
8. Keep it aside and whisk the mixture well to smooth custard. You can also add any other flavoring if you desire.
9. Cover it immediately otherwise a layer forms on the custard. When it cools down keep it in the fridge until chilled.
10. Rinse the fruits well. Chill them too while the custard chills.
11. Just before serving the fruit custard, chop them to bite sized pieces.
12. Add them to a serving bowl.
13. Whisk the chilled custard well until smooth.
Pour the custard over the fruits. Gently mix. Garnish fruit custard with some pomegranate seeds.
FAQs on fruit custard
Can I make custard recipe without fruits?
Yes you can make the custard recipe the same way and add some dry fruits and nuts instead of fresh fruits. You can completely skip the sugar in the recipe and add dates, figs, almonds, pistachios, jelly and tutti fruttis.
As my kids are fussy I do not add dates but just add nuts, jelly & tutti fruittis.
This dry fruits custard will make an amazing chilled dessert for kids’ parties. If you plan on this, just ensure to add the dry fruits & nuts only before serving.
Is is okay to serve fruit custard to young kids or toddlers?
When my kids were very young I never made fruit custard recipe with dairy milk. As fruits and milk make a incompatible combination they are most likely to disturb the tummy and digestive system.
So I would make my own almond milk and stir in some arrowroot powder. Then cook the custard until thick and then add fruits. I have added more details in the recipe notes to make fruit custard recipe with almond milk.
You can add 2 tbsps cocoa powder to the same recipe to make chocolate custard. This version can be made with brown sugar for intense chocolate flavor.
Another variation is to just add some chopped chocolate or chocolate chips to the custard and stir well.
1 cup of thick sweet mango puree can be stirred in the cooled custard to make mango custard. I haven’t tried with any other fruits yet.
Ingredients (US cup = 240ml )
- 2½ cups milk (can use almond milk or soya milk)
- 3 tablespoons custard powder (or cornstarch or arrowroot powder)
- ¼ cup warm milk (to make dissolve custard powder)
- 4 to 5 tablespoons sugar (adjust to taste)
Fruits of your choice (about 2 cups, use as desired)
- 1 medium apple
- ½ large mango (ripe)
- 1 medium banana (ripe)
- ½ medium pomegranate
- Rinse the fruits thoroughly and chill them in the fridge. Refrigerating after chopping will let out juices from the cut fruits making the custard runny.
How to make custard
- Heat 2½ cups milk in a wide heavy bottom pan or pot. Add sugar and stir until it dissolves.
- Meanwhile add custard powder to a small cup and stir it with ¼ cup milk (warm or at room temperature). The mixture has to be smooth without any lumps.
- When the milk turns hot (not boiling), pour 2 tbsp of the custard mix to the hot milk. Whisk well to incorporate it with the milk.
- Repeat adding another 2 tablespoons custard mixture to the milk and whisk well. This way incorporate all of the custard mixture to the milk in 3 batches, whisking after each addition.
- You may taste test it at this stage and add more sugar if needed.
- Keep stirring and cook on a low to medium heat until the custard turns thick. The custard must coat the back of the spoon well but must be yet of runny consistency. (check video)
- Take it off the heat and whisk it well to make it super smooth. Cover immediately. Cool this completely and chill it in the fridge.
How to make fruit custard
- Whisk the custard well before serving. This ensures even and smooth fruit custard.
- Peel and chop the fruits to bite size. Add them to serving bowl or individual serving cups.
- Pour the custard over the fruits and gently mix. Serve fruit custard immediately.
- Do not use cold milk to dissolve the custard powder. Adding cold mixture to hot milk can cause lumps in the custard.
- Adding custard mixture to boiling hot milk can also cause lumps. It is ideal to add it when the milk turns moderately hot.
- Add cut fruits to the custard only when you are ready to serve. If you mix fruits with custard and refrigerate, the fruits will let out moisture and make the custard runny.
- For healthier option use arrowroot powder but do note that even arrowroot powder is starch.
- If using cornstarch or arrowroot powder to make your own custard powder, then use vanilla extract or vanilla bean pod to flavor it.
- For for yellow color, you can use any yellow or orange organic natural food colors.
- Also dry milk powder enhances the flavor of custard.
- If you plan to make the recipe vegan. Soak about 1/3 cup of almonds for 2 to 4 hours in ample amount of water and blend them with 1¼ cup water and strain to a cheese cloth.
- Then add back the pulp and pour another cup of water to the mixer. Blend again and strain. Use the same milk to cook the custard as mentioned above in the recipe card.
- I use up the pulp in vegetable stir fry.
Alternative quantities provided in the recipe card are for 1x only, original recipe.
For best results follow my detailed step-by-step photo instructions and tips above the recipe card.
NUTRITION INFO (estimation only)
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I’m Swasthi Shreekanth, the recipe developer, food photographer & food writer behind Swasthi’s Recipes. My aim is to help you cook great Indian food with my time-tested recipes. After 2 decades of experience in practical Indian cooking I started this blog to help people cook better & more often at home. Whether you are a novice or an experienced cook I am sure Swasthi’s Recipes will assist you to enhance your cooking skills.
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