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Vanilla bean custard in a white cocotte dish next to a carton of eggs.

Vanilla Bean Custard

Heather Smoke
A classic recipe for vanilla bean custard that's creamy, rich and flecked with real vanilla bean.

All recipes on Curly Girl Kitchen are developed for high altitude at 5,280 feet.

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Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 20 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American, British
Servings 2 cups


  • Saucepan, Fine Mesh Strainer, and Whisk


  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tbsp corn starch
  • tsp coarse Kosher salt (if using table salt, use half the amount)
  • 3 large egg yolks (save the whites for another use)
  • 1 ¼ cups whole milk
  • ¼ cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter


  • In a saucepan, whisk together the sugar, corn starch and salt.
  • Whisk in the egg yolks until smooth, then gradually whisk in the milk and cream.
  • Use a paring knife to split the vanilla bean lengthwise, and scrape out the seeds. Whisk the vanilla bean seeds into the custard.
  • Cook the custard over medium heat, whisking constantly, until the custard begins to thicken and bubble - this should take about 8-10 minutes. Once it begins to bubble, continue to cook for 1 full minute while whisking.
  • Remove from the heat and whisk in the butter.
  • Lastly, strain the custard to remove any bits of cooked egg. Set a fine mesh strainer over a bowl and press the custard through the strainer.
  • Enjoy the custard warm, or chill it to eat cold.
Keyword Custard, Pastry Cream, Pudding, Vanilla Bean
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