Homemade Vanilla Custard – Spend With Pennies

I love this custard recipe for its delicate texture and light vanilla flavor.

Rich, velvety, and delicate, this custard recipe comes together quickly on the stovetop. It’s made with ingredients you likely have on hand like egg yolks, milk and cream.

Serve it on its own, or use it as a cake filling, sauce, or topper!

bowls of Homemade Vanilla Custard

What is Custard?

Vanilla custard is a pudding-like dish that contains egg yolk. Thickened with cornstarch, it’s also known as pastry cream and can be enjoyed on its own, layered in cakes, or dolloped onto fruit desserts or pastries.

  • This recipe uses simple ingredients that are probably already in the pantry and fridge!
  • Easy to make, custard up-levels everything from waffles to gingerbread to fruit desserts like this cranberry trifle recipe.
ingredients to make Vanilla Custard with labels

Ingredients Needed

  • Dairy – The best custard is made from a mixture of fresh milk and cream.
  • Eggs – You will need only the yolks in this recipe, use large eggs for the best results.
  • Sugar – Granulated sugar lightly sweetens this custard recipe.
  • Flavor – Vanilla extract adds flavor. It can be replaced with other baking extracts like rum, maple, coconut, lemon, or banana extracts will add more flavor to pies, tarts, and other desserts.

Replace the vanilla extract with real vanilla beans. While real vanilla beans (or vanilla pods) are a little bit pricey, they have a rich authentic vanilla taste. You can buy vanilla beans at almost any grocery store.

How to Use Vanilla Beans:

  1. Using a sharp paring knife, make a slit down the length of the pod without cutting all the way through.
  2. Open the bean up and use the back of your knife to scrape out the tiny black seeds.
  3. Stir the seeds into the custard before cooking.

How to Make Vanilla Custard

A thick and creamy custard is easy to make:

  1. Whisk cornstarch & sugar in a pan before heating (per recipe below).
  2. Add egg yolks, milk, & cream. Bring to medium heat, whisking slowly until thickened. Stir in butter & vanilla.
  3. Cover the surface of the custard with a piece of plastic wrap & place in the refrigerator to cool.

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