Homemade Custard Recipe

Yields: 4-6 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15-20 minutes


  • 3 cups (720 ml) whole milk
  • 1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup (30g) cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt


  • Heat the milk: In a medium saucepan over medium heat, bring the milk to a gentle simmer, stirring occasionally to prevent scorching.
  • Whisk the yolks and sugar: While the milk heats, in a separate medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar until pale yellow and slightly thickened (about 1 minute).
  • Mix in cornstarch: Whisk the cornstarch and pinch of salt into the egg yolk mixture until smooth.
  • Temper the eggs: Slowly ladle about 1 cup of the hot milk into the egg mixture, whisking constantly. This will gradually raise the temperature of the eggs and prevent them from scrambling.
  • Combine mixtures: Pour the tempered egg mixture back into the saucepan with the remaining milk. Whisk constantly over medium-low heat until the custard thickens and coats the back of a spoon, about 5-10 minutes. Do not let it boil.
  • Strain and Flavor: Remove from heat and immediately strain the custard through a fine-mesh sieve into a clean bowl to remove any potential lumps. Stir in the vanilla extract.
  • Chill: Cover the surface of the custard directly with plastic wrap to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or until thoroughly chilled.


  • Whole milk is key: It provides the rich, creamy texture.
  • Don’t rush the thickening: Cook over gentle heat and whisk diligently.
  • Spice it up: Add a pinch of cinnamon, nutmeg, or a split vanilla bean to the milk for extra flavor.
  • Top it off: Serve with fresh berries, crumbled cookies, or a dollop of whipped cream.

Enjoy your homemade custard!


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