Calling this “the best” custard recipe may seem like a bold statement, but it's true. In this healthy dessert recipe, the rich eggy custard is silky-smooth and infused with loads of vanilla, making it worthy of its name.

Kathy Gunst
Source: EatingWell Magazine, March/April 2016


Recipe Summary

4 hrs 45 mins


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Put a full kettle of water on to boil.

  • 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

Nutrition Facts

174 calories; protein 6.2g 12% DV; carbohydrates 22.6g 7% DV; exchange other carbs 1.5; dietary fiberg; sugars 22g; fat 6.6g 10% DV; saturated fat 3g 15% DV; cholesterol 193mg 64% DV; vitamin a iu 448IU 9% DV; vitamin c 0.2mg; folate 30.2mcg 8% DV; calcium 150.2mg 15% DV; iron 0.5mg 3% DV; magnesium 12.6mg 5% DV; potassium 168.7mg 5% DV; sodium 76.7mg 3% DV; thiamin 0.1mg 7% DV; added sugar 17g.

Reviews (3)

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3 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 2
  • 4 star values: 1
  • 3 star values: 0
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 5 stars
Best Vanilla Custard I have ever eaten! I made this recipe today and it is awesome. I didn't bake it in separate Ramekins but I baked it in a Casserole dish and it still turned out awesome! I did have to bake it longer due to baking it in a Casserole dish. I baked it for one hour and 15 minutes and came out just like the picture. Please whatever you do make sure to use the Vanilla Beans. That is what makes this custard superb. Thanks Eating Well magazine! Pros: Easy to make and delicious Cons: The cost of the Vanilla Beans were expensive but worth it. Read More
Rating: 4 stars
Pretty good and easy. Next time I will likely drop down the sugar as it was a bit sweet for my taste. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
This really was fantastic and super quick! I used maple sugar instead of white sugar and vanilla bean paste to save time. Absolutely fabulous! Read More