Tips for Custard, Flan and Quiche


Flan with sugar in the background

Custard Ratio: 2 eggs per cup of milk and 2 TBSP sugar 

Cream Brulé Ratio: 2 egg yolks to 1 cup of whipping/heavy whipping cream: 2 TBSP sugar

Quiche Ratio: 2 large egg to 1 cup of dairy and between 1/8 tsp-  1/4 tsp salt

Pastry cream: 2 to 3 ( 3 yolks if you want it thicker ) yolks per cup of whole milk + 1-1/2 TBSP cornstarch, 1/8 tsp salt, 1/4 cup granulated sugar, 1 tsp vanilla (heat to 190 -200 F)

Creme anglaise custard sauce: 3 egg yolk, 1 cup milk, 1/4 cup sugar, 1 tsp vanilla 

Coagulation Point for Different Egg

Custard can be made with or without starch, cooked by stirring on the stovetop or baked in the oven. Custards without starch typically thicken between 170°F and 175°F, well below the boiling point. (Usually I try to cook my custard to a temperature to 170 – 175°F knowing that it should increase by a few degrees once I take it off the heat/oven. If it reaches 185 F (85 C), it will begin to curdle.

     Egg-based puddings and custards can curdle if cooked beyond 185 degrees, unless a thickening starch is present.To prevent overcooking, basic custards are usually cooked over a double boiler. A bain-marie can be made by placing a bowl over a simmering pot of water. The steam from the simmering water will rise up and heat the bottom of the bowl. This warms up the bowl in a consistent manner to eliminate burning. (also ramekins filled with cream Brulé can be baked in sheet pan partially filled with water). This technique ensures slow, even cooking.

Whether you’re using a double boiler or not, when cooking a basic custard on the stove-top, check its temperature frequently to ensure that it doesn’t go above 185°F. Remove baked custards from the oven when they have just a slight wobble in the center when nudged; residual heat will continue to cook them until fully set. Or even better just cook to an internal temperature of 175 F

This technique allows the cook to have greater control over the temperature. This helps reduce the risk of unwanted coagulation.

digital instant read thermometer

Tips for starch-thickened custards

The addition of wheat flour (or corn starch) gives these custards a full-bodied texture, and makes them more resistant to overcooking and curdling. This allows it to endure the oven’s direct heat with no water bath. While basic custards should never be boiled, starch-thickened ones need to reach a low simmer to ensure that they’re fully cooked.

Examples: Starch-thickened custards are: pudding to pastry cream,Portuguese Pasteis de Nata, and cheesecake. Puddings contain starch to give them body but not enough to make them stiff.

creme de leite cream jpeg 8760 scaled

Starch-thickened custards must reach a simmer (190-200 F) to ensure that the amylase enzyme in the egg yolks has been denatured, or rendered inactive, by heat. A good rule is to cook for 2-3 minutes after bubbles appear in the custard, stirring constantly. A custard thickened with  starch reaches its thickest point just past the gelatinization stage, which occurs between 175 and 205 degrees F. When a custard  thickened with starch weeps, it is usually a sign of slight undercooking or overcooking. To stop weeping, just be sure to bring the corn starch mixture to almost a full boil over medium heat and, stir constantly, for 2-3 minutes. Don’t go above 205 F. Around 212 degrees F (100 C) the starch granules swell to their maximum size and burst open, releasing the water that had been absorbed by them to escape, resulting in thinning.

Custard Sauce (Creme Anglaise)

A typical custard sauce is made with egg yolks, sugar, and milk or cream. It is usually flavored with  vanilla .

It is  prepared on the stovetop over direct heat. Cook to 175 F. It is important to remember that when making a custard sauce that you are extremely careful to stir the mixture continually and not allow it to exceed 85 C (185’F) or it will scrambled.  Cream Anglaise should be smooth and thick enough to coat the back of a spoon

Pudim Abade de Priscos Abbot of Priscos Pudding abade custard flan egg yolk 8577 scaled

Creme Anglaise is served as a sauce topping for: pastries, cakes, souffle’s, and tarts.

Creme Anglaise Sauce

A classic custard recipe

Makes : (2 cups)

10 Minutes

Cook Time

15 Minutes


  • 16 oz heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tsp vanilla Extract
  • 6 Large eggs,
  • 4 oz sugar


  1. Using a saucepan, bring the cream and vanilla bean to a boil
  2. Whisk the egg yolks and sugar together in a mixing bowl. Temper the eggs with approximately 1/3 of the hot cream, then return the entire mixture to the saucepan with the remaining cream.
  3. When the sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon (about 175 F), remove it from the heat. If there are any cooked pieces of eggs in the sauce you can  put it through fine mesh strainer to remove any partial coagulation. Chill the sauce over an ice bath and cover and keep refrigerated.
Portuguese Quiche, in pie pan with Portuguese rooster in foreground and pie weight box in background
  • 1-1/4  cups sugar 3 TBSP water & 1/8 tsp of lemon juice, or vinegar (for the caramel)
  • (optional: 3 TBSP Port or Madeira wine)
  • 1/2cup  sugar for custard
  • 7 large eggs (kept at room-temperature)
  • 3-1/2  cups of half and half (or 2 cups of milk & 1.5 cups of heavy cream)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1.Heat the  oven to 325 F.
    2.Pour 1 cup of the sugar, wine, water and lemon juice in a pan Stir over medium heat until it browns and turns into into  dark caramel (335 F to 350 F or (170 C to 177 C) stir gently and try not to get any sugar crystals on the side of your pot-that can cause crystallization of the sugar. (the acidity in the sugar mixture helps prevent crystallization)
    3. While hot pour approximately  3 tablespoons of caramel in each of 6 individual ramekins, (or a large ramekin or casserole dish that could hold about 5-6 cups) Swirl the caramel  around on the inside the ramekins. Work quickly, as the caramel will cool and harden almost as soon as it hits the dish. Reheat caramel in the pan if it cools off too much to work with.

3.  For the custard: first whisk,  the eggs, salt and sugar together.  Blend until smooth. Then add the half and half and mix.

4.  Mix in the the vanilla.

5.Pour the custard mixture into the caramel-lined ramekins. Place the individual dishes in a large glass, ceramic, or metal baking pan. Pour hot water into the baking pan to a depth of about 1- 2 inches. Place the ramekins in the pan with the water. The ramekins should be surrounded by water to a depth of 1 to 2 inches.

6. Bake the flan for 50- 65 minutes in the water bath. Check with a knife inserted; if the knife comes out clean, the flan is ready. (or just bake until the internal temperature is (175 F) Remove  from the oven and carefully take the individual dishes out of the hot water. Let cool to room temperature, then place in the refrigerator for about an hour. (Leave flan in the dishes they baked in until time to serve.)

7. To serve, invert each individual dish onto a small plate, allowing the flan to fall out and the sauce to flow over the