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How to Make Easy Lump-Free Custard for Puddings and Trifles

I used to work in my family's restaurant and helped run it. I love good food, and I've cooked family meals for over 60 years.

This custard takes only about six minutes to make!

This custard takes only about six minutes to make!

Learn the Secrets of Smooth Custard

Custard is a delicious accompaniment to any pudding—but has your custard ever turned out lumpy?

What went wrong? How do you stop the lumps forming in the first place? Or if they do pop up, how do you get rid of them?

In my youth I helped run a restaurant where I made custard regularly. In this article, I will reveal my secrets to making lump-free custard.

I should note that this recipe takes a shortcut by using a packet or tin. It's not the gourmet’s way of starting from scratch, using eggs.

We haven’t got time for all that, have we?

As long as it’s quick, simple to make, and tastes nice, that’s all we need to worry about.

That’s what you have here, in this recipe, which has been good enough for my family ever since I was a child. And that speaks volumes, because in my family, we all love our food.

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Equipment and ingredients

Equipment and ingredients

Necessary Equipment

  • Jug
  • Measuring jug
  • Measuring spoon
  • Spoon for stirring

Cook Time

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

3 min

3 min

6 min

4 servings


  • 1 pint milk, or half milk and half water
  • 1 to 2 dessert spoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons custard powder, or as instructed on package

I always use Bird's custard powder, although there are other brands on the market, which I haven't tried. Bird's has a lovely smooth texture, and it is the custard powder I have used all my life. I was very pleased to see that you can buy it in America as well as in the UK!


  1. In a saucepan, add about 3/4 pint of milk (or part milk, part water although they don't tell you that) and heat it up.
  2. In a large jug, add the required amount of custard powder with l or 2 dessert spoons of sugar, according to how sweet you like it.
  3. Add about 1 tablespoon of milk to the custard powder and mix to a smooth paste. Gradually add a little of the warmed milk, and again mix to a smooth paste. Gradually add all the milk to the jug, and mix thoroughly,
  4. Pour the mixture into the saucepan, and stir furiously whilst heating it slowly over low heat to ensure that lumps don't form. Be careful to scrape the bottom and sides. Let it bubble and boil for 1 minute, and you should have smooth and beautiful custard without a lump in sight.
  5. If you have not followed my instructions to the letter, you might have a few lumps. As lumpy custard is an abomination, pass the mixture through a strainer into a jug. The strainer will hold back all the lumps.

Lump-Free Custard Tips

Lumpy custard is an abomination! Have patience during the preparation.

  • Ensure powder is completely mixed with liquid
  • Add heated milk to mixture in jug
  • Mix thoroughly
  • Only then pour whole lot into saucepan
  • Boil slowly
  • Stir constantly
  • Squash all lumps as they form

Pudding Recipes to Go With Your Custard

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