Baked Custard Recipe

An easy, Amish Baked Custard Recipe that will make you feel like you are at Grandma’s house again. Smooth & creamy, with just 6 ingredients.

My husband is extra-super in love with me right now. Comfort food is definitely one of his love languages and I’m hitting all the buttons lately. Homemade eggnog? He was in creamy Christmas heaven.

Now an old fashioned baked custard recipe?  This potentially ranked higher than that special eggnog.

A simple sweet custard recipe is one of those old-fashioned desserts that Matt grew up on. He remembers his grandma making a vanilla custard recipe, so my goal was to make an easy egg custard somewhat close to what his grandma’s used to be. Because we all know that Grandma’s food is the best food.

a cup of nutmeg topped custard

Why you’ll love this Baked Custard Recipe:

  • This baked custard recipe has just 6 ingredients.
  • What seems like a tricky dessert to make was surprisingly easy.
  • There’s just a few hints I will give you so that your custard has that creamy texture you remember from your childhood.
  • Smooth, simple vanilla flavor with a touch of spice on top.
  • Made in individual ramekins for dinner parties.

What is the difference between pudding and custard?

The main difference between pudding and custard is what makes them thick. In homemade pudding (which is fairly soft), cornstarch is used to make the pudding thick. In custard (which is generally firmer than pudding), it is eggs that makes the custard thick.

Key Ingredients for Homemade Custard

This recipe takes only 6 ingredients:

  • Eggs. Large eggs are standard.
  • Sugar. Granulated white sugar is best for this. I would not recommend subbing for brown sugar.
  • Salt. This adds flavor and cuts the sweetness slightly.
  • Vanilla. Pure vanilla extract and nothing less for the best flavor.
  • Milk. I used 2% milk. There’s not really a need to use a higher fat milk, but if you have whole milk, it will work. I do not recommend using skim milk.
  • Nutmeg. Nutmeg gives such a comforting flavor to this custard. If you can, use freshly grated nutmeg. It’s amazing.
a spoonful of baked custard

How to Make Baked Custard

  1. Scald the milk. This means you’ll heat the milk until it reaches 180 degrees, near boiling. Many old recipes call for this process. It is not necessary to scald milk for safety reasons any longer due to the pasteurization process. However, scalded milk does give the custard a little bit of a smoother texture, so I do recommend taking the time to scald the milk. I made the custard both ways and even my non-professional taste testing could tell that the scalded milk custard had a smoother texture. You can scald milk in the microwave or in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. You’ll watch for the milk to start steaming and bubbling around the edges. Stir the milk constantly to prevent a film forming on top of the milk. If  you don’t have a thermometer to test the temperature, remove the milk from the heat right before it comes to a boil.
  2. Temper the eggs. You have near-boiling scalded milk. You’ll want to pour 1 cup of that milk ever so slowly into the eggs, whisking the entire time. It is so important to drizzle slowly and whisk constantly. If you don’t, you’ll end up with  pieces of cooked eggs. Which is not going to make for a creamy custard.
  3. Bake the custard cups in a hot water bath. What does a hot water bath do? It prevents the custard from curdling or cracking. Egg-based desserts need to cook slowly at a low temperature to keep a creamy texture, and the hot water helps to do just that. How do you make a hot water bath? Put a pot of water on the stove over medium heat and bring it to simmering, not a rolling boil. Place the custard cups in a large baking pan with sides that are nearly as tall as the custard cups. Pour the hot water around the custard cups, being careful not to spill any water into the cups. You want the level of the hot water on the outside of the cup to be just at the level of the custard. Oh…and be careful when placing this heavy baking pan into the oven. Don’t let that water spill onto your custard mixture!

How Long To Bake Custard

The length of time you bake the custard may vary slightly based on the size and shape of the ramekins you use. The custard should be set around the edges, yet slightly jiggly in the center.  A knife inserted in the center of the custard should come out clean. And if you want to? Test the temperature with a thermometer. It should read at about 170-175 degrees.

Recipe Variations

  • Bake in a baking dish instead of individual ramekins. It will take longer to bake (close to an hour depending on the baking pan you use) and you’ll still want to use a water bath.
  • Use almond extract instead of vanilla.
  • Top with caramel or maple syrup.

If you have someone in your life who loves old fashioned recipes, surprise them with this old fashioned baked custard recipe. See if it brings back memories of days with grandma. Love pies? Bake this recipe in a crust or make our custard pie or frozen custard ice cream.

closeup of a ramekin of baked custard
closeup of a ramekin of baked custard

Baked Custard Recipe {Easy Amish Recipe}

4.73 from 72 votes
An easy, Amish Baked Custard Recipe that will make you feel like you are at Grandma’s house again. Smooth & creamy, with just 6 ingredients.
Servings 10 servings
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes

Ingredients
 

  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 cups 2% milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • In a medium-size bowl, beat the eggs on medium-low speed for 30 seconds.
  • Add the sugar, salt and vanilla. Whisk gently until mixed.
  • Pour the milk into a microwave-safe bowl and heat in 1 minute increments until the temperature of the milk reaches 180 degrees.* Stir between each time interval to distribute the heat. Depending on the bowl and microwave you use, this will take about 5 minutes. Be sure not to let the milk boil.
  • Remove 1 cup of the heated milk and slowly drizzle it into the egg mixture, whisking the eggs quickly the entire time.**
  • Slowly pour the remainder of the milk over the egg mixture, whisking constantly.
  • Beat with a hand mixer for 20-30 seconds.
  • Pour the custard into 10 6-ounce ramekins, dividing the custard equally between the cups. There is no need to grease the ramekins.
  • Place the ramekins in a 10×15” baking pan with sides about as tall as the ramekins.
  • Sprinkle nutmeg overtop the custard.
  • Heat about 10 cups of water, not quite to boiling but very hot, on the stovetop or in the microwave.
  • Pour the hot water into the pan around the ramekins, being careful not to get any of the water into the custard itself.
  • Carefully place the pan into the preheated oven and bake for 35-40 minutes. The exact time may depend on the size and shape of the ramekins you use. The custard is done when you insert a knife into the center of a cup and it comes out clean.
  • Serve cold or warm as desired, with whipped cream.
  • Refrigerate any leftovers.

Video

Notes

*This is called “scalding” the milk. Many old recipes call for this process. It is not necessary to do this for safety reasons any longer due to the pasteurization process. However, scalded milk does give the custard a little bit of a smoother texture, so I do recommend taking the time to scald the milk. You can also do this on the stovetop instead of the microwave.
**This is called “tempering” the eggs. Be sure to drizzle the hot milk slowly and constantly whisk (or use a hand mixer beating on medium speed the entire time you are drizzling) so that the hot milk doesn’t cook the eggs.
 
The calories shown are based on the recipe making 10 custard cups, with 1 serving being 1 custard cup. Since different brands of ingredients have different nutritional information, the calories shown are just an estimate.

Nutrition

Serving: 128g | Calories: 116kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 81mg | Sodium: 189mg | Potassium: 159mg | Sugar: 14g | Vitamin A: 205IU | Vitamin C: 0.2mg | Calcium: 124mg | Iron: 0.4mg
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Calories 116
Keyword baked custard recipe, homemade custard, how to make custard

About Julie Clark

I'm Julie Clark, CEO and recipe developer of Tastes of Lizzy T. With my B.A. in Education and over 30 years of cooking and baking, I want to teach YOU the best of our family recipes.

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Maggie
1 year ago

An I freeze the left overs or make this ahead and freeze? I’m dying to try this and currently have an abundance of eggs but my guests are only arriving in two weeks.

Sally
9 months ago

4 stars
Excellent recipe with a lot of useful information. I used a regular oven, organic milk and so altered the cooking procedures.

Martie Brown-Lott
6 months ago

5 stars
Yummy!
I’m low carb/keto so I used monk fruit sugar instead. It turned out perfectly. You can’t even tell it’s not sweetened with sugar. My 2 year old was screaming with delight and said, “More custard, please!” It will definitely be a staple in our house. Thank you!

Last edited 6 months ago by Martie Brown-Lott
Susan
1 month ago

5 stars
I have been making this about weekly for a cancer pt and it has been a hit I do it in casserole dish since I am transporting it and use 3/4 heavy cream as calories needed. I have tried a little ramekin in microwave sitting in water ( hot of course) and that works too. Thank you o much for recipe