Proper Homemade Custard

18 Jan 2023

It’s well worth learning how to make perfect custard. It is so versatile and useful and is linked to many traditional puddings.

Our Proper Homemade Custard is delicious. It has a smooth, pouring consistency and creamy texture. It is great served hot or cold.


300ml semi-skimmed milk
3 eggs
15g caster sugar
1 x 5ml spoon vanilla essence


Weighing scales
Measuring jug
Small saucepan
Glass or metal mixing bowl
Wooden spoon
Measuring spoons


  1. Heat the milk in a saucepan on a medium heat, but do not allow it to boil.
  2. Crack the eggs with a knife and separate the yolk from the egg white, blend the egg yolks with the sugar in a mixing bowl. Gradually stir in the hot milk, using the wooden spoon.
  3. Place the bowl over a saucepan a quarter filled with simmering water. The water must not touch the base of the bowl.
  4. Cook gently for 8–10 minutes, stirring constantly, until the custard has thickened.
  5. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla essence.
  6. If serving warm, pour into a jug and stand in a pan of warm water until required. (It cannot be kept hot over the heat as it would become overcooked and start to curdle.)

Skills used include:
Weighing, measuring, creaming/beating, steaming and serving.

Top Tips

  • If you want to cool the custard quickly, sit the bowl of custard in a larger bowl containing iced water.

Something to try next time

  • For a different flavoured custard, replace the vanilla with 1 x 5ml spoon of cinnamon or 2 x 5ml of cocoa or the zest of 1 orange.
  • Serve with our delicious recipes for Spiced Mincemeat Muffins or Baked Apples.
  • If you want to cool the custard quickly, sit the bowl of custard in a larger bowl containing iced water.
  • You could use the leftover egg whites to make meringues.

Prepare now, eat later

  • The custard will keep, covered, in the fridge for up to 48 hours. Reheat over a very low heat, stirring continuously, until very hot but not boiling. Only reheat once and eat immediately.

Get more from your food

  • Every day we waste the equivalent of 1.1 million eggs. Our homemade custard recipe just uses the yolk but don’t waste the whites – they freeze very well and can be made into meringues and soufflés. Remember to number the container with how many egg whites there are and let them thaw naturally when you come to use them.