The Best Vanilla Custard
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Put a full kettle of water on to boil.Advertisement
Whisk egg yolks, sugar, vanilla extract and salt in a medium bowl.
Split vanilla beans down the middle, then use the tip of a sharp knife to scrape all the black paste from them into a medium saucepan. Add the bean pods and milk to the pan. Bring to a gentle simmer over medium heat. Slowly whisk into the egg mixture. Place a fine sieve over a large bowl and strain the custard into the bowl (discard the pods).
Place eight 6-ounce ovenproof baking dishes (or ramekins) in a large roasting pan that's at least 2 inches deep and fill with the custard. Pour the boiling water around the baking dishes until it comes about halfway up the sides. Cover the pan loosely with foil.
Bake the custards until set around the sides but still a bit wobbly in the center, 30 to 35 minutes. Using oven mitts, transfer the baking dishes to a wire rack and let cool to room temperature. Cover and refrigerate until cold, at least 3 hours and up to 3 days.
Make Ahead Tip: Refrigerate for up to 3 days.
Equipment: Eight 6-ounce ovenproof baking dishes or ramekins
1 other carbohydrate, 1/2 reduced-fat milk, 1/2 high-fat meat