The Best Vanilla Custard


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.

Cook Time:
20 mins
Additional Time:
4 hrs 25 mins
Total Time:
4 hrs 45 mins
8 servings


  • 8 large egg yolks, at room temperature

  • cup sugar

  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

  • Pinch of salt

  • 2 vanilla beans

  • 3 ½ cups reduced-fat milk


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Put a full kettle of water on to boil.

  2. Whisk egg yolks, sugar, vanilla extract and salt in a medium bowl.

  3. 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).

  4. 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.

  5. 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 (per serving)

174 Calories
7g Fat
23g Carbs
6g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 8
Serving Size 1/2 cup
Calories 174
% Daily Value *
Total Carbohydrate 23g 8%
Total Sugars 22g
Added Sugars 17g 34%
Protein 6g 12%
Total Fat 7g 8%
Saturated Fat 3g 15%
Cholesterol 193mg 64%
Vitamin A 448IU 9%
Vitamin C 0mg 0%
Folate 30mcg 8%
Sodium 77mg 3%
Calcium 150mg 12%
Iron 1mg 3%
Magnesium 13mg 3%
Potassium 169mg 4%

Nutrition information is calculated by a registered dietitian using an ingredient database but should be considered an estimate.

* Daily Values (DVs) are the recommended amounts of nutrients to consume each day. Percent Daily Value (%DV) found on nutrition labels tells you how much a serving of a particular food or recipe contributes to each of those total recommended amounts. Per the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the daily value is based on a standard 2,000 calorie diet. Depending on your calorie needs or if you have a health condition, you may need more or less of particular nutrients. (For example, it’s recommended that people following a heart-healthy diet eat less sodium on a daily basis compared to those following a standard diet.)

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a special diet for medical reasons, be sure to consult with your primary care provider or a registered dietitian to better understand your personal nutrition needs.

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