How To Make 1852 Green Custard (Without Food Coloring)

how to make 1852 green custard

Green custard ‘will be found both delicious and ornamental for a dessert, or supper table.’

The original recipe for this unusal green custard was published in ‘Miss Leslie’s New Receipts For Cooking’ in 1852. The Victorian custard is naturally colored with spinach! 😀


  • fresh spinach for 1/2pt/ 240ml juice
  • 1qt/ 1l milk (or soy milk and water)
  • 8 eggs
  • 1/4lb / 110g sugar (I used just half of the sugar and found it still rather sweet)
  • 2 lemons (or other flavoring)

green spinach food coloring

Pound fresh spinach in a mortar or use a blender. Strain spinach puree through a sieve to extract 1/2pt/ 240ml spinach juice.

Combine spinach juice, milk, eggs, sugar and flavoring. I used the lemon rind variant, but the Victorian recipe also suggest flavoring the custard with vanilla, peach water, bitter almonds or rose water.

green pudding

Stir the mixture over medium heat till the custard thickens.

green custard

The recipe says to use greenish fruits such as gooseberries, green gages, green grapes or green citron melon. But I only had red gooseberries, so I used gooseberries together with blueberries.

The custard has an unusual flavor – lemonlike and fresh. It doesn’t taste spinachy at all! 😉 The sour berries go well with the sweet custard.

green custard with gooseberries

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