Old-Fashioned Baked Custard is definitely a comfort food, and the ultimate healthy comfort food. If you have never had an egg custard, you are in for a real treat.
I enjoy these custards anytime of the day, but I especially like them for breakfast as they provide a quick breakfast that provides you with protein and calcium.
Also check out my Low Fat Baked Custard (Old Fashion) – A low fat and low calorie version of the above Baked Custard. I made this version all the time, as I seem to be always trying to lose weight.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Adjust oven rack to center position. Lightly butter (or use non-fat vegetable spray) six (6-ounce) custard cups and set them into a large baking dish. Tip: Place a non-stick baking mat (called a silpat) or a tea towel in the bottom of your baking dish to both insulate and keep the ramekins firmly in place.
In a large bowl, beat eggs slightly; add sugar, vanilla extract, and salt; beat until dissolved. Mix in hot milk until blended. Pour egg mixture into prepared custard cups. Sprinkle with nutmeg or cinnamon.
Bring the water for the water bath to a light simmer on top of the stove; carefully pour hot water into the baking pan to come at least half-way up the sides of the custard cups. The most common mistake people make in baking a custard is not putting enough water in the hot-water bath. The water should come up to the level of the custard inside the cups. You must protect your custard from the heat. Carefully pour hot water into the baking pan to come up the sides of the custard cups.
Definition of Water Bath or Bain-Marie (bahn mah-REE) - A hot water bath or bain-marie are used to cook custards and baked eggs in the oven without curdling or cracking, and also used to hold sauces and to clarify butter. Water baths are most often used for egg-based dishes. The proteins in the eggs are very heat sensitive and only need to be warmed to cook thoroughly. They will start to get firm at only 145 degrees F. Cooking them with a slow, gentle heat keeps the eggs soft and smooth.
Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until set around the edges but still loose in the center. The cooking time will depend largely on the size of the custard cups you are using and the altitude you are at. Begin checking at a half hour and check back regularly. When the center of the custard is just set, it will jiggle a little when shaken, that is when you can remove it from the oven. If using a digital instant-read thermometer, inserted in the centers, the internal temperature should register approximately 170 to 175 degrees F. Begin checking temperature about 5 minutes before recommended time.
High Altitude Cooking: Custards with a water bath will often need additional water during the baking time. Also your custards will need a longer cooking time because the altitude causes the water to evaporate faster.
Remove from oven and immediately remove cups from water bath; cool on wire rack until room temperature. Cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate at least 2 hours or up to 2 days.
Makes 6 servings (depending on size of custard cups).
* The amount of eggs used can vary according to your needs. When I make custard for dessert, I usually use 4 eggs. When making for breakfast, I increase the recipe to 6 eggs.
I get many readers asking what cooking/meat thermometer that I prefer and use in my cooking and baking. I, personally, use the Thermapen Thermometer. Originally designed for professional use, the Super-Fast Thermapen Thermometer is used by chefs all over the world. I only endorse a few products, on my web site, that I like and use regularly.
You can learn more or buy yours at: Super-Fast Thermapen Thermometer.
Comments from readers:
I came across your recipe for the baked egg custard today and it was so good! I have made them before, but they always end up being watery and rubbery. (I’m originally from the UK and love my comfort puddings!) Your recipe resulted in a smooth rich custard, I will definitely be using this recipe again and again! Thanks again – Sharon Harmatiuk (3/22/16)
Linda – I can’t express my delight and gratitude for the Old Fashion Baked Custard recipe. I was searching the internet for an old fashioned recipe that I was certain my 92 year old grandmother would like and thanks to you and your web site I found it. What a great alternative to add the additional eggs! So easy and tastes like grandma used to make in her glory days. Thank you, Thank you, THANK YOU!!!! She loves it! As an evening dessert and as breakfast. Now my only issue is keeping up with her supply and the supply for my extended family who, when dining with grandma, enjoy custard also. I now know where to search for great “old school” baking. Thanks a million – Dawn Moore
18 Responses to “Old-Fashioned Baked Custard Recipe”
Wonderful. Like mom used to make. Thank you.
I make these custard cups regularly for my dear 98 year old friend. She loves them, and so do I. They are a great source of protein. Thanks for posting
OMG! It worked!! After trying a half dozen other recipes for good old fashioned egg custard, I found one that actually works! This tastes like the custard I remember from when I was young. Thank you so much!
Juat like my grandma made
Best ever! My husband and I eat it all! Now I have to make more. Thank you so much! closest to my Moms ever.
I used this custard recipe today for my 90 and 92 year old parents to enjoy. They both LOVED it. While eating it, they started talking about how my grandmothers would make custard pudding when my parents were small children. I love to prepare dishes that prompts them to tell stories of their childhood days and that brings back fond memories. It’s all about the little things in life. ❤️
Excellent recipe and yes, reminds me of custards my mom used to bake. ❤️ I’ve used this recipe several times for a custard and also custard pies (I decreased the milk to 2 1/2 cups). I don’t use cinnamon, just the nutmeg…I buy the whole nutmeg and freshly grind. It is much better then the nutmeg already ground I think. This recipe is a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️!!
Thank you. I am trying to convert recipe to non dairy using coconut milk and adding rice.
I made some with coconut milk for my grandson. It was very good, but a little “eggy” for me. He ate every drop, though. Next time I may add some coconut cream for a better texture.
This is the best and what my mother used to make. Except: we did not have an oven (you read that correctly) so she would cook it on top of stove. In a frying pan she’d place the pyrex ramekins, add wate, and tightly cover the top. She’d hoover over it and worried, but they always came out great!
My Mum always used cold water in her water bath. She would scald the milk, pour into whisked eggs being whisked and place in a cold water bath. That way she could have the oven on cooking the rest of dinner and keep the custard from curdling.
I tried this today, and folloed the recipe veri carefully my only deviation was to put it in a 1 quart corning ware containrt. After 30 minutes, it is still soup, so I added another 30 minutes. The water bath is up tp snuff. What’s wrong?
Love, love, love these baked custards. I make them for my friends when they are sick. I love them. I usually have one for breakfast. They are a real comfort food for sure . Thank you for posting this recipe. It’s a staple in my house now
Wonderful custard just like my Mom use to make on our farm in Nova Scotia.
It is real comfort food and this is the Best…never fails.
My problem is getting the custard cups out when they’re surrounded by boiling water. I can’t lift the pan filled with cups and boiling water out of the oven without sloshing the boiling water over the edges, and actually it was too heavy to lift out . Tried wearing a potholder mitt to lift the cups out but couldn’t do that without the mitt getting into the boiling water.
I used tongs to steady the ramekins and lifted them out with a slotted spatula. Worked great!
Loved your tip on the water bath for creamy custard. It was the most smooth delicious custard I’ve
I found Pfaltzgraff berry cups to be a great stand-in for ramekins. They also have an edge that allows me to use my jar lifter (used for home canning) to get the cups out of the hot water bath.