Basic Custard (Vanilla)

READY IN: 15mins
Recipe by tim_cat

A very basic "true" custard, originally developed for boston cream pie, but also yummy on its own. The best part is that you can add any flavor you like!!!

Top Review by Gary S.

I've used this recipe several years ago and it always worked. Tried it again today and worked as it did in the past. Came out perfect. Thickens after cooking, as it cools.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Combine milk and 1 tbsp sugar in a heavy saucepan, scald, and remove from heat.
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg yolks and 1/2 tbsp sugar together.
  3. Temper yolks with the scalded milk, then whisk everything back into your pot.
  4. Return pot to medium heat, add 8 tbsp (1/2 cup) of sugar.
  5. Bring custard to the boil, stirring constantly, then IMMEDIATELY remove from heat (otherwise your custard will be lumpy).
  6. Add 1/2 tsp vanilla extract, or any flavor extract of your choice! (nutty flavors, mild spices, coffee, and chocolate work best).
  7. Serve hot and fresh or chilled.
  8. Tip: Many people (myself included) consider the skin on top the best part of the custard. If you don't like custard skin, however, you can cover your cooling container with any airtight seal like a tupperware lid or plastic wrap. Just don't put it in a glass jar and screw the top on!
  9. EDIT: People have been having trouble getting this to thicken, like in the comment. DON'T make this recipe unless you're willing to experiment. I need to do something to fix it, but I don't know how to make the recipe private -- sorry sorry everybody! Thanks to jetta_mel for pointing out the trouble with it!

Join the Conversation

  • all
  • reviews
  • tweaks
  • q & a