A custard is a combination of eggs and milk, usually sweetened and flavored and either steamed or baked as cup custard, or cooked in a double boiler as soft custard. The whole egg may be used or the yolks alone. The yolks make a smoother, richer custard. One whole egg or two yolks of eggs will be sufficient for one quart of milk.

The egg must be thoroughly mixed, but not beaten light, the sugar and salt added and the milk scalded and stirred in slowly. The custard must be strained through a fine sieve and cooked at a moderate temperature. The cup custard should be strained before cooking, the soft custard may be strained after cooking.

A soft custard is cooked over water and is stirred constantly until done. When done the froth disappears from the surface, the custard is thickened and coats the spoon and sides of the pan, and there is no sign of curdling. If the custard is cooked too long it becomes curdled. If a custard becomes curdled, put it in a pan of cold water and beat until smooth.

A steamed or baked custard is done when it becomes set and when a silver knife will come out clean after cutting it.

Steamed Custards

1 quart milk (heated) 4 eggs or 10 egg yolks 1/2 cup sugar


2 tablespoons caramel or 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

Beat eggs sufficiently to mix them thoroughly; add sugar, salt, and hot milk slowly.

Strain into cups, flavor with caramel or sprinkle nutmeg on top, and steam until firm over gently boiling water, 20 to 30 minutes. Serves 6 to 8.

Baked Custards

Prepare as steamed custards, set in pan of hot water, and bake in a slow oven until firm; 20 to 40 minutes.

Chocolate Custards

Use recipe for steamed custards adding 1 oz. Baker's Chocolate (melted) to the hot milk. Steam or bake as desired.

Soft Custard

1 pint milk (heated)

4 egg yolks

4 tablespoons sugar


1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Beat egg yolks sufficiently to mix them thoroughly, add sugar, salt, and hot milk slowly. Cook in double boiler over water that is boiling gently and stir constantly until the custard thickens. Strain. When cool, add flavor.

For soft chocolate custard add 1/2 oz Baker's Chocolate (melted) to the hot milk. Serves 6.

Floating Island

Use recipe for soft custard and when cold garnish the custard with a meringue made according to the following recipe:


4 egg whites

1/4 cup powdered sugar

Beat egg whites very light, add powdered sugar and continue beating. Drop in large spoonfuls on cold custard. Serves 8 to 10.

The meringue may be cooked, if desired, by slipping a spoonful at a time on top of the scalded milk and covering the double boiler carefully. When the meringue is set, it should be carefully removed to a plate until custard is made.

Tapioca Cream

1/2 cup pearl tapioca

1 cup cold water

2 cups milk 2 egg yolks

1/3 cup sugar 1/8 teaspoon salt

2 egg whites 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Soak the tapioca several hours in cold water until it absorbs the water, add milk and cook until tapioca is soft and transparent, add yolk of egg, sugar, and salt; cook 3 minutes over water, stirring constantly; remove from fire; add the beaten whites and flavoring, and when cold serve. Serves 8.

Rice Cream

Use the recipe for tapioca cream, substituting 1 cup boiled rice (1/3 cup uncooked) for the soaked tapioca. Heat the rice in hot milk in a double boiler until soft.