Custard creams were always my pick of the biscuit selection. Not that the tin full of Bourbons, Jammy Dodgers and Garibaldis made much of an appearance at home. We were more of a homemade flapjack kind of clan. But when I did get my hands on the factory-made-biscuit-tin, I'd dive straight in for the custard cream. I'd then dissect it slowly. It's a good job maman wasn't watching this (you may you want to stop reading now maman!). She would not have appreciated my table manners. Every time I followed the same method: I bite off the bottom biscuit half and nibble away at it before trailing round the edge of the biscuit, careful to avoid any of the filling. The best bit, the custardy-cream (which, if I'm being honest, resembles neither) I then scraped out with my two front teeth. The remaining biscuit got swallowed quickly so I could put my hand back in the tin for another, hoping that the little rectangular slot wasn't empty already.
So I wasn't being at all revolutionary or stepping out of my comfort zone when I followed Justin Gellatly's recipe to recreate the classic this weekend (the recipe's in the book. Go buy it). Crisp, light, sugary biscuits filled with butter, sugar and vanilla (my holy trinity) and eaten slightly more delicately this time. These ones don't stand up to as much manipulation as their famous predecessor. But they do taste a million times more magical. It's been many years since my last custard cream. Far too long.