How to Bake: Easy Custard (with recipe)

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CustardCustards are one of those yesterday desserts that never should have gone out of style.  They are still used as pie fillings—pumpkin pie, of course—but they make versatile desserts without sticking them in a pie shell.  Because they are made of eggs and milk (with some sugar), they are better for you than most other desserts.   We'll give you a recipe for a very easy custard and you can dress it up if you choose with syrups or fruit or in a pie crust.   


We like custards but admittedly, your kids might not.  This recipe is so easy, it's worth the try.  Chances are, you'll like it.

Easy Custard

4 cups milk
6 large eggs
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon vanilla


  1. Heat the milk until hot, two or three minutes in the microwave.
  2. Whisk the eggs until smooth.  Combine the eggs and the milk.
  3. Add the sugar, salt, and vanilla and stir until dissolved.
  4. For a smoother custard, pour the mixture through a strainer.  Stir again.
  5. Pour the custard into custard dishes, a casserole dish, or a pie shell.
  6. Bake at 325 until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.  In individual servings, that should be about 30 minutes.  In a single dish, about 60 minutes.
  7. Cool before serving.

Traditionally, custards are served with caramel sauce.  Sliced strawberries or fresh blueberries doused in a gourmet fruit syrup also work well with custard.

We made this custard in a pecan pie crust and served it to guests.  They loved it.  Here is the recipe that we used:

CustardPecan Crust

1 cup pastry or all-purpose flour
3/4 cup finely chopped pecans
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
6 tablespoon melted butter


  1. Mix the dry ingredients together in a medium bowl.
  2. Add the melted butter and stir until well combined.  Break some of the pieces with your fingers if necessary.
  3. Place the contents into a deep dish pie pan and press the crumbs evenly across the bottom and on the sides of the pan.  (Do not use a dark colored pan—the crust will tend to burn.  Thin spots in the crust will also burn. We like to use a pie shield to help prevent burning.)
  4. Place the filling in the pan and bake at 325 until the custard is set and a knife inserted in the center comes clean.  (In our oven it took about an hour but will vary based on the depth of the filling.) Another way to know when it is done is use a thermometer. Take the custard out when it reaches about 160 degrees in the center.

This is a great crust for any cream filling.

To save time in making this crust, simply use our just-add-water pie crust mix, and add the nuts and spices.

After baking, the custard should be refrigerated.

See the printable version.

In this recipe:

Pie shield