Kippers and Custard

A richly flavoured and unusual starter, Alan Coxon's savoury custards are sure to be a talking point among dinner party guests
By Alan Coxon
Kippers and Custard
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes plus 5-6 hrs chilling
  • Effort: medium



  • 300 ml single cream
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 2 naturally smoked kippers, deboned and shredded
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 60 g capers, coarsely chopped
  • 2 tbsp chopped parsley
  • 2 shallots, finely diced
  • 2 gherkins, diced
  • toast, to serve


1. Preheat the oven to 150°C/gas 2.

2. Place the cream in a saucepan over a low heat for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until heated through. Do not boil.

3. Meanwhile, half fill a separate pan with water, place over a high heat and bring to the boil. Place the egg yolks in a large heatproof bowl.

4. Remove the cream from the heat and add it to the egg yolks a little at a time, stirring thoroughly. Place the bowl over the pan of boiling water and cook the egg mixture gently for 1-2 minutes.

5. Add the shredded kippers and mix thoroughly, then stir in the pepper.

6. Divide the capers, parsley, shallots and gherkins equally between four ramekins. Place the ramekins into a deep roasting pan and fill the pan with water to reach halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Carefully pour the kipper custard mix into the ramekins.

7. Bake in the preheated oven for 35-40 minutes, or until set, then remove from the roasting pan and leave to cool.

8. Chill in the refrigerator for 5-6 hours, then serve with warm toast.

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