New Zealand Food Exploration: Custard Squares/Slices

What is your ultimate comfort food?

I have a few contenders, but one of the strongest has to be custard.

Hot custard poured on the side of puddings, cold leftover custard set into a lump in the bowl, pastry-cream-filled eclairs, nutmeg-dusted custard tarts; I love them all. So when I read about Denheath Custard Squares, I made of note of the stockists so I couldn’t miss out.

custard cube

The same café that sold cheese rolls fortuitously also stocked the custard squares, so I eagerly purchased one and after H had taken a few photos, we gave it a try.

The first thing that struck us was how on earth you were supposed to eat the thing. The pastry/icing layer on top was very firm, and the slightest pressure with the fork caused the custard to bulge out the sides alarmingly. We quickly realised that there was no way to eat it daintily, so hacking, squishing and general mutilation followed. The pastry was a bit tough, but the coconut topping was good. The custard itself had a mousse-like texture, and in taste and colour reminded me of a spray custard that was sold in the UK for a while quite a few years ago.

The whole dessert was a bit artificial-tasting, but all-in-all, I liked it.

A week or two later we were in Wellington, and had a chance to try a more home-made version at the charming Martha’s Pantry (276 Cuba Street).

Having peeped in the day before, we turned up first thing the next day to breakfast upon cake and hot beverages. I finally got the chance to try a “fluffy”, which is basically a small cup of milk froth for little kids who don’t like coffee. Or for adults who don’t like tea or coffee and think the word “fluffy” is super-cute.

To accompany my fluffy, I had a custard slice. The innards were a good, firm, set custard, and the pastry was much softer than the custard square, but it was too soft, tasting like the slice had been made the day before and the pastry had slowly gone a bit soggy. It was still a bugger to eat though, and I made a complete mess of it.

custard slice

On the whole, preferable to the custard square, but I think it would have been best when freshly made.

(H had a delicious caramel slice btw, which I glared at enviously with every bite he took.)

3 thoughts on “New Zealand Food Exploration: Custard Squares/Slices”

  1. Hi if you ever pass through Timaru Please pop into Denheath Desserts factory. Would love you to try a Denheath Custard square Direct from the factory.
    Kindest Regards Lisa

  2. I would love to, thank you, but alas I don’t envisage being in New Zealand for a long while 🙁 I’ll file this away in my mind though, in case!

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