clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
Two glass mugs of boiled custard with nutmeg

Boiled Custard

  • Author: Michelle Minnaar
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Diet: Vegetarian


Boiled Custard is a traditional holiday drink that is enjoyed in the South every Christmas. Cheap and easy to prepare, this is a family favorite!


  • 500ml (2 cups) double cream
  • 500ml (2 cups) whole milk
  • 10ml (2 tsp) vanilla paste or extract
  • 125ml (1/2 cup) granulated sugar
  • 5 large egg yolks
  • [optional] whipped cream


  1. Combine the cream, milk and vanilla in a saucepan. Bring to the boil then remove from the heat.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar and egg yolks, until the mixture has gone pale in colour and doubled in size.
  3. Temper hot milky mixture into the sugar yolk mixture, by slowly adding hot milky mixture about 60ml (1/4 cup) at a time, whisking to distribute heat. Once half of the milky mixture has been added, transfer mixture back into the saucepan with the remaining milky mixture.
  4. Place the saucepan over low heat. Stir continuously until mixture reaches nappé consistency, or 80°C (180°F) on a kitchen thermometer.
  5. Remove from heat and pour the custard into a large mixing bowl. Place the bowl into icy water and stir until the custard has cooled.
  6. Once it has cooled to a suitable temperature, it is ready to drink.
  7. For an added touch, top with whipped cream and grate nutmeg over the top. Enjoy!


  • Nappé consistency is when you run your finger through the mixture on the back of a spoon and the mixture doesn’t run through the gap you created.
  • If you want to experiment, you can play with all different kinds of flavours.
  • Use different flavoured extracts, such as orange, coconut, lemon and lime.
  • Spice-wise, you can add ground cinnamon, allspice, pumpkin spice, or whatever takes your fancy.
  • For a more adult version, you might even want to add some alcohol. Cointreau will give you a lovely orange taste, Baileys or Amarula for a creamy liqueur flavour. Shots of whisky works marvellously. Pssst, try honey whisky from Jack Daniel’s.
  • Category: Drink
  • Method: Boil
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: boiled custard, southern boiled custard, christmas drink, boiled custard drink, old fashioned boiled custard, boiled custard pudding