baked custard
photograph by Matt Hulsman

Yield: 6 half-cup servings.

3 large eggs
½ cup sugar
⅛ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla
2½ cups hot cream, half-and-half, or whole milk (125°-130°)
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
Fresh fruit (optional)

Preheat oven to 350°. In a mixing bowl, whisk together eggs, sugar, salt, and vanilla. Slowly whisk in hot milk.

Ladle egg mixture into glass custard cups or ramekins ¾ full. Sprinkle with nutmeg. Place ramekins in a 9 x 13-inch baking dish. Place baking dish on top rack of oven and carefully fill the dish half full with hot water. Bake for 45 minutes, or until center is set. Remove cups from water bath and allow to cool 15 minutes. Cover each custard cup with plastic wrap and refrigerate. Serve chilled. Garnish with fresh fruit (optional).

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Lynn Wells is a personal chef with more than 20 years of experience in the food and hospitality industry and a degree in Nutrition Management from UNCG.