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How can I make custard for a friend (as part of a desert) who is egg and gluten intolerant? Should I just not bother?

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    How do you define "custard"? In the strict sense, custard is defined by being an egg dish, the same way that an omelette is defined by being an egg dish (that's the sense used in On Food And Cooking or Th Professional Chef). In everyday use, I have seen people call starch thickened blanchmange "custard", and if you are OK with this, then it should be no problem to cook a simple mixture of starch, sugar and milk. – rumtscho Feb 1 '12 at 12:44
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Panna cotta is the closest thing I know to custard that is egg-less. Sugar, cream, milk, gelatin - should be acceptable.

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Pudding. Possibly agar-agar based.

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Banoffee Pie style butterscotch pudding (Vegan Pie in the Sky is my reference for this) would make an excellent base as it mimics the caramel taste and mouth feel, it thickens with agar; perhaps add in the slightest pinch of black salt for a hint of sulphur (not enough to taste, more for the scent mimicing the egg). I think that you would also do well with pectin or gelatin, but a little corn starch might be called for to get some creaminess out of the thickening.

  • Where does custard = caramel taste? – rfusca Feb 1 '12 at 23:32
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    @RFU my mind immediately associates custard with creme brulee anyway, but essentially (as your comment above clarifies) if the key problem is substituting for the egg in his variant of custard, then I would swing toward the burnt ends of the creme spectrum. Hence, butterscotch and caramelized sugar – mfg Feb 2 '12 at 13:39

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