Baked custard was one of those dishes I disfavored when I was younger. I never liked the look of it; it had the appearance of sweet scrambled eggs and whenever my mom made it for us, I'd pass and go for a scoop of ice cream instead. As an adult, it has become one of my favorite desserts. Why? I'm not sure I have the answer. Perhaps it has something to do with moving away from home and having a desire to eat foods that remind me of home.
Custards always contain some form of milk, cream, and eggs as the main ingredients; it's the foundation of the custard's texture and flavor. It is typically cooked on very low heat in either dry or moist heat such as a water bath. For custards to yield a smooth and creamy texture, low heat and moisture in the oven helps to keep the eggs in the mixture from curdling.
Inversely, cooking any custard on a high temperature results in the egg-milk emulsion separating and turning into "curds." In the case of this custard, my uncle Junior prefers it with a bit of curdling- it's something about the texture that he enjoys. This is how I was used to seeing custard growing up. I am aware this is not the typical appearance of Guyanese baked custard which is usually thicker and made with more eggs and does not usually contain custard powder. Guyanese custard is a variation of British baked custard and is a different recipe from this one.
For this recipe, you'll need custard powder. Even though we are using eggs as the thickening agent, you'll need a little bit of custard powder for a little more flavor and additional coagulation.
After whisking, slowly pour in evaporated milk and stir thoroughly.
Pour into the desired dish. I used an 8-inch dish.
You can even pour it into ramekins if you're having a dinner party. The individual dishes are great for single portions and make these look a little extra fancy. If using ramekins, pour halfway up the dish.
Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 35-40min. For the last 5 minutes, remove the foil so the top can get golden brown. If using smaller dishes, you'll have to bake for less time-until center is jiggly.
Serve warm or cold.
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- ¼ tsp ground nutmeg (optional)
- 2 tbsp custard powder
- ¼ cup brown demerara sugar or turbinado sugar
- 24oz evaporated milk (2 12oz tins)
- Heat oven to 350 degrees.Whisk first six ingredients together in a bowl, slowly pour in evaporated milk. Stir to thoroughly combine.
- Pour mixture into desired pan or individual ramekins. Cover with aluminum foil. Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40min. Remove foil for the last five minutes to allow top to get slightly golden brown. For smaller dishes, bake for less time until center is not watery.
- Custard is done when center is slightly jiggly. Serve warm or cold.
White granulated sugar can also be substituted, 5-6 tbsp should suffice.
Place baking dish in hot oven then pour mixture into dish. This alleviates having to carry the filled dish to the oven and spilling.
Size of pan will determine thickness of custard. A 9-inch pan will result in a thinner custard.