This is a baked egg custard recipe that is cross between a traditional egg custard recipe and a Pot de Creme. Where egg custard typically uses the whole egg, this recipe only uses only the yolk. And while pot de creme uses cream, this recipe calls for milk. What results is the simplicity of making an egg custard while getting the smooth and rich taste of a Pot de Creme.
What I love about this dessert is that it you only need 4 ingredients. I usually do not have cream on hand, so make this with homo milk.
It’s also a great way of using up the egg yolks from other egg-white-only recipes. I typically make it while I’m baking banana bread.
In order to make the custard smooth and creamy, there’s two important techniques to follow:
Temper the egg yolk:
The first really important technique to follow is to temper the yolk before mixing with the hot milk. This is done by slowly drizzling the hot milk into the yolk while gently stirring together with a whisk. This allows the yolk to gradually warm up to the same temperature as the milk. Once the yolk is tempered, you can mix with the rest of the milk.
If you simply add the cold yolk to the hot milk, you will get scrambled yolks, definitely not the texture you are looking for.
Tempering allows the yolk to mix nicely with the milk before setting into custard in the oven.
Hot Water Bath:
The second important technique is the bake the egg custard in a hot water bath. The hot water bath helps regulate the heat in the oven and lets the custard cook slowly and evenly to produce a smooth and creamy texture.
Generally, I try to bring the water bath to about the same level as the custard in the pots. This ensures the custard is insulated by the water bath. That’s also why my pots are not filled to the top.
Without the hot water bath, the heat in the oven will cause the custard to boil. Air bubble will form within the custard as it sets, and texture becomes more like microwaved eggs. Trust me, learn from my mistakes and avoid the disappointment. Don’t skip the water bath.
How to make baked egg custard:
Heat up milk in saucepan. Add sugar and vanilla and stir until sugar is dissolved and milk is hot but not boiling.
In a separate bowl, whisk egg yolks lightly. Temper the yolk by drizzling the hot milk into the egg yolk while whisking together. Continue slowly adding milk to the yolk until completely combined.
Place ramekins or petit pots into a baking dish and fill with milk mixture. Scoop away any bubbles floating on the surface.
Fill the baking dish with hot water, about 1 to 2 inches. Bake for 30-40 mins until a knife inserted in the center of the custard comes out clean.
Remove from water bath and let it cool down.
Baked Egg Custard
- 6 Egg Yolks
- 2.5 cups milk
- 2/3-1 cup sugar – depends on how sweet you want to make it
- 1 tbsp vanilla
- 1/8 tsp salt
- Set oven to 350°F
- Pour milk into sauce pan over medium-high heat.
- While milk is heating up, add the sugar and vanilla and whisk until dissolved
- Heat until milk begins to steam but not boiling. Turn off heat
- In a separate bowl, whisk egg yolks lightly until blended
- Slowly drizzle milk into the egg yolks. Whisking while drizzling and continue until all milk is incorporated
- Pour milk mixture into glasses, spoon away any bubbles floating on the top
- Place glasses into a baking dish and add hot water to the dish
- Bake until the edges are set and a knife inserted into the center comes out almost clean, about 30-40mins