- Beat the eggs, the sugar, the salt, and the vanilla together.
- Scald the milk and add it very slowly, stirring constantly (see tempering).
- Pour the mixture into a greased or buttered baking dish or several small greased heat-proof molds.
- Place the baking dish or the molds in a pan of water in a slow oven (300–325°F / 150–160°C) and bake for between 30 and 40 minutes.
- Test if the custard is cooked with a knife, which will come out clean when the custard is thoroughly baked.
Notes, tips, and variations
- For caramel custard, add 4 tablespoons of caramel sauce to the eggs.
- A meringue, or frosting for the top, requires about a tablespoonful of fine sugar to the beaten white of one egg; to be placed on the top after the custard or pudding is baked, smoothed over with a broad-bladed knife dipped in cold water, and replaced in the oven to brown slightly.
- Applesauce or quince preserves can be placed in the bottom of the dish before baking. When set, add some more quince or apple sauce (heated) on the top with some chopped almonds and serve hot. When starting with fresh fruit, stew it (optionally, with sugar to taste), flavoring with the rind of a half lemon, and pass it through a sieve, or use a food processor. The resulting puree can be decorated with some thin lemon peel cut into stars.