another great  Kitchen Project   |  Recipes from a German GrandmaDiscussion Board

Vanilla pot de crème
(custard). Serves 6.
Pronounced: poh / duh / krehm / ah / lah / vah nee yuh


  • 2 cups half-and-half
  • 3" vanilla bean
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt


Preheat oven to 350°F. Place a kitchen towel on the bottom of a baking dish that is large enough to hold the 6 ramekins.
1. Heat 1-3/4 cups of the cream with the vanilla bean to just below the boiling point.

2.Whisk the egg yolks until lemon colored.

3. Whisk the sugar, the remaining cream and salt into the egg yolks.

4. Gradually, in a thin stream, beat in the hot cream. Strain through a fine sieve into a glass measure with a pour spout. Remove all the foam from the top with a spoon.

5. Slowly pour the mixture into the ramekins and again remove all the foam from the top.

6. Place the ramekins in the prepared baking dish. Place the baking dish on the middle rack of the preheated oven and pour in boiling water to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins.

7. Set a sheet of foil loosely on top and bake about 20-25 minutes. A cake tester or point of a thin knife should come out cleanly. Check during the baking time to be sure the water does not boil. If you feel it is coming close to boiling, add a few tablespoons of cold water and reduce the temperature to 325°F.

8. Remove ramekins from the water bath and allow to cool at room temperature. Place in refrigerator and chill for 3 hours.
    To serve:
Decorate with a bit of flavored whipped cream or nutmeg if desired.
This pots de crèmes is flavored with nutmeg, clove, brandy and rum


    • 1 cup heavy cream
    • 1 cup whole milk
    • 6 Tablespoons sugar
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla
    • 3 large egg yolks
    • 1 egg
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
    • 1 pinch ground cloves
    • 1 teaspoon dark rum
    • 1 teaspoon brandy


    Preheat oven to 300°F. Place a kitchen towel on the bottom of a baking dish that is large enough to hold the 8 4-oz. ramekins (or pot-de-cream pots, Pyrex custard cups or other oven proof decorative cup).
    1. In a heavy bottomed saucepan, combine the cream, milk and sugar. Over medium heat, stirring to dissolve sugar, bring just to the boil.

    2. Remove from heat, stir in vanilla and let stand 10 minutes.

    3. With a fork mix together the yolks and whole egg.

    4. Stirring with a wooden spoon, slowly add the milk mixture to the eggs.

    5. Strain through a fine sieve into a pitcher. Stir in the nutmeg, cloves, rum and brandy. Let the mixture rest at least 1 minute, then remove any foam that is on the top.

    6. Pour about 1/2 cup of the mixture into each ramekin. Skim off any foam.

    7. Transfer roasting pan to the oven; fill with enough boiling water to come halfway up the sides of the cups.

    8. Lay a piece of aluminum foil on top and bake for 50 to 60 minutes.

    9. Remove from oven and take the ramekins out of the water bath. Allow to cool to room temperature. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least 4 hours before serving. *NOTES : 1. whisk the ingredients thoroughly but gently! The idea is to combine the ingredients rather than aerate them, so wield your whisk with a light hand. Too vigorous and you'll have little perforations on the surfaces of your custards.
      2. Be sure the water you add to the water bath is hot ~ but make sure it does not boil during cooking. Add a little more water if it starts to bubble during cooking and reduce the oven temperature.
      3. Timing and temperature are important. Too much heat and the custard will be granular; if cooked too long, they will separate when they are cooled. The best test for doneness is an instant read thermometer which should register 150-155 when the custard are done. The "jiggle" method also works. Nudge the ramekins, the custard should be firm about 1/4-inch in from the sides and jiggle in the center.
      If in doubt ~ take them out. They will firm up a bit as they cool.
      4. As for containers, the traditional pot de crème holds about 3 ounces but other containers can be used such as: ramekins, Pyrex custard cups and coffee or tea cups that are ovenproof. Just keep in mind that you may have to make some adjustments to cooking times.


E-Mail The Webmaster
© 1998-04The Kitchen Project 

Last updated February 2, 2005