Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Cozy Winter Custard with Vanilla and Nutmeg from Author Cleo Coyle #easy #comfortfood #baking

From Cleo Coyle: Warm vanilla custard brings back equally warm memories for me of my mom and childhood home, of my family's cozy kitchen and a just-baked custard out of the oven, smelling of egg and warm milk, vanilla and nutmeg. 

On this cold January day, I offer you this simple recipe to warm your heart, one that I hope will bring back that feeling of comfort for you, as well. 

Cleo Coyle has a partner in
crime-writing—her husband.
Learn about their books
by clicking here and here.

 ☕ A Recipe Note from Cleo

Baked egg custard is a lovely and satisfying comfort food that I've been eating ever since my mother made it for me as a child. I've baked it countless times since and am happy to share two tips I've learned along the way for producing an easy yet lovely custard with a smooth top and silky, creamy texture.

(1) Use room temperature eggs. Simply warm them quickly in a bowl of warm water from the tap. This will help loosen the albumin (protein) in the egg and make it easier for you to properly blend the custard.

(2) Bake it low and slow and do not put foil on top of the custard cups or the roasting pan (as some recipes suggest). At the end of the recipe, I'll show you a picture of what happens if you try to speed up the baking with a higher temperature or foil on top.

So here you go. Warm comfort in a cup from me to you, with a bit of nutmeg on top…

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☕ Cleo Coyle's 
Warm Winter Custard with Vanilla and Nutmeg

Servings: 4 (in 4-ounce size ramekins or custard cups)


1-1/4 cups whole milk

3 eggs
(room temperature is best)

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar


Step 1: Whisk together all ingredients. I do this in a large measuring cup because the spout makes it easy to pour in the next step. 

Step 2: Pour the liquid mixture into 4 four-ounce size ramekins or custard cups, dividing evenly. Place the ramekins in a roasting pan or baking dish and create a shallow water bath by filling just enough to reach halfway up the sides of your ramekins or custard cups. 

Step 3: Bake in a preheated 325° F. oven for 1 hour and 5 minutes (the time may be a little longer or shorter, depending on your oven). When is it done? You are looking for the top to set. It may still jiggle slightly, but it should be firm to a light touch and when a toothpick or skewer is inserted down into the custard at the edge of the cup, it should come out clean. Otherwise, keep baking and checking.

Remove from oven and water bath and allow to cool for one hour on a rack. Eat at once or chill by placing plastic wrap over the top of each cup. (You need the plastic on there to prevent a skin from forming.)

A few final recipe tips...

The photo above is what happens if you follow this recipe and bake the custard (uncovered) in a water bath at 325 degrees F. for 1 hour and 5 minutes. Creamy, silky delicious custard. 

The photo at right is what happens if you try to rush the process of baking by raising the oven temperature or covering the pan with foil. Do you see those unsightly pockmarks on the top of the custard? That comes from the custard boiling instead of cooking slowly. In the batch at the right, I purposely sealed aluminum foil over the roasting pan. Yes, this sped up the cooking time, but it also made the custard boil, creating this less silky result. So be sure to avoid it!

Finally, allow the custard to cool for an hour after removing from the oven. If you chill or store in the fridge, don't forget to seal plastic wrap over the top of the ramekins or custard cups to prevent a skin from forming. 

Eat with cozy winter joy!

New York Times bestselling author
of The Coffeehouse Mysteries and
Haunted Bookshop Mysteries

This is us -- Alice and Marc.
Together we write as Cleo Coyle. 

Visit our online coffeehouse here.
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—Midwest Book Review

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The Coffeehouse Mysteries are bestselling
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18 titles includes the added bonus of recipes.


  1. Your books are so much fun and I love the recipes. This looks really yummy--And those pictures have my mouth watering. Thanks for the winter treat, Cleo


  2. Boy, does this recipe inspire me to get up from this computer and make some! I can smell it just from the pictures! Thank you, Cleo! You are a delight and I love your books!

  3. What a wonderful recipe! Thanks, Cleo, for brightening this winter day. Hugs. MJ

  4. That looks good, Cleo! Mom never baked custard for us as Dad had declared that custard is for sick people! I have a feeling his mom did not make it very tasty.

  5. This looks so good! I love custard of all kinds--I grew up with leche flan, which is a Filipino custard with caramel on top, but I love the spices you've adde