9.2 Eggs – Custard


  • To determine the influence of sugar, dilution, amount of stirring, and rate of heating on the coagulation temperature of egg protein.
  • To demonstrate that stirring custards during coagulation results in a sol, and that baking a custard without stirring results in a gel.
  • To be able to use the standard procedure for preparing stirred and baked custards.


Baked and Stirred Custards –  One recipe of the custard mix will be divided to make one baked custard and a stirred custard sauce from the same mix.


Custard Mix

2 cups milk ¼ cup sugar
2 or 3 eggs ⅛ tsp. salt

To speed preparation, heat milk to 75ºC.  Break eggs into a custard cup one at a time.  Remove chalazae with fork.  Beat eggs in a medium or large bowl with a whisk or rotary beater just enough to blend yolk and white but not enough to form a foam.  Add sugar and salt and blend.  Stir in milk.  Proceed to cook custard – baked or stirred custard sauce.

Baked Custard

Preheat oven to 375ºF and prepare pan. Prepare water bath for the baked custard by putting a custard cup on a wire rack in a pan of very hot water.  Water in pan should be nearly the same depth as custard in cup. Fill one custard cup with custard mix (approximately ½ cup mix).  Add ⅛ tsp. vanilla.  Set the custard in the water bath and bake until no custard sticks to a clean metal knife inserted ½ inch under the surface near the center of the cup.  Minimum baking time is 1 hour for the 2-egg recipe and 50 minutes for the 3-egg recipe.  When the custard tests done, remove it from the hot water and chill in ice water.  Unmold the chilled custard onto a plate for serving.


Stirred Custard Sauce – crème anglaise

Preheat oven to 375ºF and prepare pan. Prepare the double boiler by pouring only enough water into the lower pan of the double boiler so that the top pan will not touch the water.  Bring the water to a boil, and then adjust the heat to maintain simmering temperature. While that custard is baking, prepare the stirred custard sauce:   Cook remaining custard mix in the top of the double boiler over simmering water, stirring constantly with a rubber spatula.  When stirring, be careful to remove custard from sides of the pan.  While the custard is cooking, chill a bowl in ice water.  Continue cooking the sauce for approximately 10-15 minutes until the mixture forms a coating on a clean metal spoon (82-84ºC for the 2-egg recipe and 77-79ºC for the 3-egg recipe).  Cook slowly.  (Try the test on the uncooked sauce so that change in consistency can be recognized.)  The thickness will be similar to a thin white sauce.  Immediately pour the coagulated custard into the chilled bowl and blend in ¼ tsp. vanilla.  Continue stirring until custard is cooled.


Characteristics of Standard Product for a Stirred Custard:

Appearance Texture Flavor


Color dependent on that of egg yolks.

Smooth; consistency of heavy whipping cream.

Not curdled.

Slightly sweet, mild egg flavor.

Characteristics of Standard Product for a Baked Custard:

Appearance Texture Flavor
Pale golden brown.

Smooth, evenly coagulated; not porous.

Uniform gel structure which holds a distinct cut edge.

Slightly sweet, mild egg flavor.


Product Appearance Texture Flavor
2-Egg Baked Custard
3- Egg Baked Custard
2- Egg Stirred Custard Sauce
3-Egg Stirred Custard


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Basic Scientific Food Preparation Lab Manual Copyright © 2023 by Iowa State University Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.