I made a batch of custard cups at home and they came out beautiful. When I followed the recipe at work, using the same method and a still oven like at home, the results were a disaster. The custard had the texture of scrambled eggs. Any ideas on what went wrong?

  • Welcome! We need more information to try and help. Could you edit your question to include the recipe you used including how you prepared it?
    – Debbie M.
    Jan 11, 2016 at 18:08
  • Without knowing more, odds are that you heated them too much. (either too high of a temp, or raised the temperature too quickly)
    – Joe
    Jan 11, 2016 at 22:23

3 Answers 3


I've had this exact same issue when making Creme Brulee. If you heat the mixture too long it will turn to the consistency of scrambled eggs. I have figured out that if I gently jiggle the pan a few minutes before it is supposed to be set and you will see a slight wobble. Repeat this for the next few minutes until it wobbles less, then remove it immediately

This is the method that works best for me. There are so many variations due to the oven, altitude, number of eggs in your mixture, etc. to give you an exact time. It took me at least 15 tries to finally get my creme brulee recipe right but now I know what to look for when its done.


When you heat egg yolk without proper tempering you'll end up cooking the egg into a solid. If you're baking custard, which is sounds as though you are, you should cook in a hot water bath to avoid direct heat. If you did use a water bath and did temper your yolks then perhaps lower the custard on the baking rack to avoid too much direct heat, as you want to cook it primarily with ambient heat.

  • I think you may have nailed my problem! The oven I used had only one rack, very near the bottom heat source of the oven. Next time I will move the rack into the middle of the oven. I did use a hot water bath, as I did at home.
    – TagineBoy
    Jan 12, 2016 at 23:13
  • 1
    @TagineBoy Ovens in general are not precise sources of heat. The middle is best for even heat, but even when an oven has a thermometer controlled heating element / gas levels, it is more of a suggestion than a precision instrument. A water bath is the way to go for this indeed, and if you want to replicate the same recipe with different ovens, make use of an oven thermometer in both ovens to see which setting produces which actual temperature...
    – Roland
    Apr 4, 2019 at 11:36

I have had this happen stupidly following a recipe that said to drizzle the egg yolk into the cream when obviously it should be hot cream into yolks and sugar! I was making a sugar free version and instead of doing what my instincts said and just replacing the sugar with sweetener I just went by the letter... As well as being a bit too hot in the oven, so I got the ‘sweet scrambled eggs’ or curdled. However, I rescued it, whilst still warm, too all the Creme Brulee back into a large bowl or jug and whisk until the texture becomes smooth again. The burnt skin from the tops gave it a lot of brown flecks so I threw some nutmeg i there to disguise that! Texture still a little grainier than a proper Creme Brulee but servable...

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