Southern Boiled Custard Recipe -
Southern Boiled Custard Recipe

Southern Boiled Custard

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"A wonderful winter beverage that is part custard, and part heaven. Don't be afraid to try this recipe using almond or rum flavoring instead of the traditional vanilla extract."

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Ingredients Edit and Save

Original recipe makes 8 servings Change Servings


  1. Into the lower pot of a double boiler, add water. In the upper pot, add milk. Heat through over medium heat.
  2. Beat eggs together until light. Add sugar and mix well. Pour a small portion of hot milk into the eggs and sugar to warm and thin this portion. Pour slowly into hot milk.
  3. Cook, stirring constantly until it will coat a spoon. Do not over cook. Add vanilla extract. Chill in refrigerator before serving.
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Reviews More Reviews

Most Helpful Positive Review
Dec 24, 2006

Yes, in the south this is a beverage. I make this every year around the holidays, it's very traditional. My recipe only uses 4 eggs, which I beat with the sugar to dissolve prior to combining with the milk. I also add a pinch of salt & about a teaspoon of cornstarch to stabilize it-whisk it into the sugar prior to adding to the eggs. Contrary to the name, never let it boil. The protein in the eggs will coagulate and it will be grainy, or worse, lumpy. For the same reason, use only whole milk, the fat is necessary. The thin layer of foam on top of the custard will disappear as the mixture cooks, and when the texture and color are uniform throughout, the custard is ready and will "coat the spoon". Serve with a healthy dose of good bourbon. Hope this helps.

Most Helpful Critical Review
Dec 14, 2003

The recipe sounded good, but the "don't overcook" and "coats spoon" statements were vague. I don't live in a region where anyone knows what boiled custard is so this was my hope for the drink I grew up on at Christmas. After over an hour of constant stirring, it finally started to thicken enough to coat the spoon although it was splotchy. The next day I tried the chilled bev., disappointed that it was very eggy tasting and lumpy. An approximate time to cook (i.e. "It generally takes ME xxx min/hour to get the mixture to coat the spoon) would have been helpful. Also, what constitutes "coating"? Sticking to the spoon like honey, or just sticking to the spoon at all?


36 Ratings

Jan 23, 2005

Cooking the mixture too high or too long or not "tempering" properly will cause it to taste like scrambled eggs. This is not a is used as an additon to a dessert or as my great aunt used to do top Jell-O. This recipe is exactly as I remember hers. Be patient with it. "Coating" the spoon means the wooden spoon looks like it has a coat on. Another words it sticks to the back of the spoon. She calls it a winter beverage (eggnog) but boiled custard is usually used as stated above. It is DELICIOUS!

Nov 09, 2006

This is a nice recipe and is most definitely a drink. Those of us from the south always drink boiled custard around the holidays. I will say I had to make it twice to get it right. The first time I made scrambled egg custard which was disgusting. When the recipe says "don't over cook" that is important here. As soon as it started getting creamy I cooked it just a little longer. Its also possible to add a little cornstarch first mixed with water to give a little more creaminess. All in all it was great!!! Reminded me of home.

Dec 24, 2008

This is similar to my mother's recipe. Excellent flavor, but a little too sweet for me. Next time I will cut down on the sugar a little, say 3/4 cup per quart of milk. I also add a pinch of corn starch to the sugar/egg mixture. The secret (or art) to getting perfect boiled custard is to heat slowly, stirring constantly (double boiler). I continued to cook about 30 minutes after the custard reached 170 degrees F. Total cooking time was about 90 minutes.

Dec 22, 2007

I have a friend that grew up in the south and I made this for her this Christmas; she absoutely loved it. I cooked it just a little to long but once I put it in the blender the small chunks disappeared. The one thing about this recipe is you have to be very attentive to it while it's cooking. Thats for giving me a recipe to help my freind feel like she was at home!!

Jan 19, 2008

My mother made us make this...every single year at Christmas. The difference from this recipe is rather than add vanilla, she used imitation walnut. Yummy.

Sep 26, 2006

OK...This is an awesome boiled custard. It is not a drink...sorry Cathy. If made correctly it is like a sauce the previous reviewer you put over Jell-O or a cake. The recipe is flawless if followed corretly. I loved it...just like Grandmother used to make.


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  • Calories
  • 216 kcal
  • 11%
  • Carbohydrates
  • 30.8 g
  • 10%
  • Cholesterol
  • 128 mg
  • 43%
  • Fat
  • 7.1 g
  • 11%
  • Fiber
  • 0 g
  • 0%
  • Protein
  • 7.9 g
  • 16%
  • Sodium
  • 93 mg
  • 4%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

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