How to Make Custard from Scratch

Ever wondered how to make custard from scratch? You’re in the right place! Skip the pre-made and powdered stuff and head straight for the rich, creamy and super indulgent liquid gold version! I guarantee, this is the BEST homemade custard you will ever taste! (It’s also perfect when paired with apple crumble!)

Homemade custard in a white jug on a burgundy linen napkin with drips running down the front and a silver spoon in the background

I love custard. Like really LOVE custard. I always have. 

Homemade custard in a white jug with drips running down the front and a silver spoon inside

Don’t get me wrong, I genuinely love ready made custard and I even love the powdered custard too. They certainly have their time and place in our modern day busy lives! BUT, when you have a little time, I promise you, this homemade custard recipe is well worth the effort (and calories!).

Homemade custard in a white jug on a burgundy linen napkin with drips running down the front and a silver spoon in the background

Made with egg yolks, whole milk, a real vanilla pod and ALL THE CREAM, this seriously indulgent homemade custard is rich, creamy and heavenly! Pairing well with almost any dessert.

Homemade custard in a white jug on a burgundy linen napkin with drips running down the front and a silver spoon in the background

Is custard hard to make?

In short, no, it’s not hard to make. If you prepare your ingredients/equipment before you start and read the recipe all the way through so you know what’s coming, it’s actually quite simple to make homemade custard.

Homemade custard in a white jug on a burgundy linen napkin with drips running down the front and a silver spoon in the background

How long does homemade custard last?

Homemade custard should store well in the fridge for 3-4 days if properly covered or in an airtight container. You should always allow hot food to cool completely at room temperature before putting in your fridge to chill.

Homemade custard in a white jug with drips running down the front

How is custard made?

  1. Split the vanilla pod and scrape out the seeds. Place into hot milk and let infuse.
  2. Beat together egg yolks and sugar in a bowl until pale and slightly fluffy.
  3. Mix milk and cornflour to a paste in another bowl then pour the infused hot milk over it and stir.
  4. Pour the milk into the egg mixture and beat together.
  5. Transfer the custard to a pan and stir until thickened.
  6. Remove from the heat and stir in the cream.

 

Homemade custard in a white jug on a burgundy linen napkin with drips running down the front and a silver spoon in the background

Homemade custard ingredients

Here’s everything you need to know about the ingredients needed to make homemade custard.

  • Milk – If you’re going to do something wrong, do it right. Use whole milk and your tastebuds won’t regret it!
  • Vanilla – In a pinch, you could use extract or essence but it won’t be as good as using a proper vanilla pod.
  • Egg  Yolks – These add richness and give the custard it’s famous yellow colour. 
  • Sugar – Caster (superfine) sugar works best in custard.
  • Flour – Cornflour (cornstarch) is the best thickener for custard.
  • Cream – Use double (heavy) cream for a rich and indulgent custard.

 

Homemade custard in a white jug on a burgundy linen napkin with drips running down the front and a silver spoon in the background

Tips for making custard from scratch

Not made custard before? Here’s some tips to help…

  • Prepare/weigh out all your ingredients before you start.
  • Read through the whole recipe before you begin so there are no surprises halfway through!
  • When heating the milk to infuse it, don’t over heat it! Bring it just up to the boil then remove from the heat.
  • Stir continuously once your custard is heating in the pan as it can catch and burn easily.
  • Custard a little lumpy at first? Beat really well with a wooden spoon or use a whisk if it’s particularly bad.
  • Add the cream gradually to avoid it potentially becoming too thin.
  • Is your custard too thick? Add a little more milk or cream to thin it out.

 

Homemade custard in a white jug on a burgundy linen napkin with drips running down the front and a silver spoon in the background

Recipes custard goes well with

 

Homemade custard in a white jug on a burgundy linen napkin with drips running down the front and a silver spoon inside

 

How to Make Custard

Here is what you will need to make 800ml (Serves 3-4)

(For a printer friendly version, see the recipe card at the end of this post)

  • 400ml (1 + 2/3 Cup) Full Fat Milk
  • 1 Vanilla Pod
  • 3 Egg Yolks
  • 65g (1/3 Cup) Caster/Superfine Sugar
  • 30g (1/4 Cup) Cornflour/Cornstarch
  • 300ml (1 + 1/4 Cups) Double/Heavy Cream

 

Essential Equipment

  • Small Saucepan
  • Sharp Knife
  • 2 Mixing Bowls
  • Whisk
  • Wooden Spoon
  • Medium Saucepan

 

First, pour half the milk (200ml | 3/4 Cup + 1 tbsp) into a small saucepan and set it over a medium heat. Meanwhile, slice the vanilla pod lengthways with a sharp knife and scrape out the seeds. Place them into the milk along with the vanilla pod itself.

Bring the milk just up to the boil then remove from the heat and allow to infuse for 15 minutes.

Milk in a saucepan over a low heat being infused with a vanilla pod

While the milk is infusing, put the egg yolks (x 3) and caster/superfine sugar (65g | 1/3 Cup) into a mixing bowl and whisk until it becomes pale in colour and a little fluffy.

Egg yolks and sugar in a glass bowl

Egg yolks and sugar in a glass bowl that have been beaten until pale and slightly fluffy

In another mixing bowl, stir together the cornflour (30g | 1/4 Cup) and remaining milk with a spoon (200ml | 3/4 Cup + 1 tbsp) until blended.

A milk and cornflour paste in a metal bowl with a metal spoon

Now pour the hot infused milk into the milk/cornflour mixture and stir well until it’s evenly blended.

Hot vanilla infused milk being poured into a metal bowl containing a milk and cornflour paste and a metal spoon

A vanilla infused milk and cornflour mixture in a metal bowl with a metal spoon

Then pour the milk into the egg mixture and stir until it’s mixed together nicely.

A vanilla infused milk and cornflour mixture being poured into a glass bowl containing an egg yolk and sugar mixture and a whisk

Vanilla custard base in a glass bowl with a whisk

Pour the custard into a clean medium saucepan and place over a low/medium heat.

A vanilla custard base in a metal saucepan on a stove

Stirring continuously, bring the mixture up to the boil. At which point, things will get very thick very fast. Keep stirring until the mixture is thick, shiny and smooth. If things get particularly lumpy, you can use a whisk.

Thickened custard in a metal saucepan over a stove with a wooden spoon

All that remains to do now is stir in the cream (300ml | 1 + 1/4 Cups). Make sure you mix it thoroughly and get right into the edges of the pan.

TOP TIP! Add the cream gradually. Remember, you can always add more but you can’t take it out! 

Cream being poured into a metal saucepan containing thickened custard and a wooden spoon

Homemade vanilla custard in a metal saucepan with a wooden spoon

And there you have it, proper homemade custard! You can serve it immediately or cool at room temperature then chill for later use. (You can make this up to 48 hours in advance.)

To heat through, place your custard back into a pan over a low heat and stir continuously until hot throughout.

Homemade custard in a white jug on a burgundy linen napkin with drips running down the front and a silver spoon inside

Have you made this recipe?

Have you learnt how to make custard using this recipe? I’d love to know if you have! Send me your pics, comments and questions on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram or email me at emma@kitchenmason.com.

Homemade custard in a white jug on a burgundy linen napkin with drips running down the front

Like baking to be as simple as possible?

You need the right equipment! Check out my favourite Products That Make Baking Easier!

 

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Homemade custard in a white jug on a burgundy linen napkin with drips running down the front and a silver spoon in the background

Homemade custard in a white jug on a burgundy linen napkin with drips running down the front and a silver spoon in the background

Homemade custard in a white jug with drips running down the front and a silver spoon inside

How to Make Custard from Scratch

Yield: 4
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes

Rich, creamy liquid gold - this is proper homemade custard at it's finest!

Ingredients

  • 400ml (1 + 2/3 Cup) Full Fat Milk
  • 1 Vanilla Pod
  • 3 Egg Yolks
  • 65g (1/3 Cup) Caster/Superfine Sugar
  • 30g (1/4 Cup) Cornflour/Cornstarch
  • 300ml (1 + 1/4 Cups) Double/Heavy Cream

Essential Equipment

  • Small Saucepan
  • Sharp Knife
  • 2 Mixing Bowls
  • Whisk
  • Wooden Spoon
  • Medium Saucepan

Instructions

  1. Place half the milk in a small saucepan. Slice the vanilla pod lengthways and scrape out the seeds with a sharp knife. Place the seeds and pod into the milk and bring just up to the boil. Remove from the heat and leave to infuse for 15 mins.
  2. Whisk the egg yolks and sugar in a bowl until pale and slightly fluffy.
  3. Mix the remaining milk and cornflour together in another bowl with a spoon.
  4. Pour the infused milk into the cornflour mixture and stir well.
  5. Pour the milk into the egg yolk mixture and stir until blended.
  6. Pour the custard into a medium saucepan and set over a low/medium heat. Bring to the boil stirring continuously. It will thicken very quickly, when it does, work out any lumps and mix until smooth.
  7. Remove from the heat and gradually stir in the cream.
  8. Serve immediately.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 417Total Fat: 33gSaturated Fat: 20gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 232mgSodium: 81mgCarbohydrates: 24gFiber: 0gSugar: 19gProtein: 8g

Nutritional information on kitchenmason.com should only be used as a general guideline, I am not a certified nutritionist. Please always check labels for allergens where applicable.

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Hi, I’m Emma. Let me help you impress with delicious dishes using my easy recipes, step by step pics, tips & videos.