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Knowing When Puddings and Custards are Done

By Cook's Illustrated Published September 2006

Here's how to avoid one of the worst kitchen mishaps: overcooking.

Egg-based puddings and custards can curdle if cooked beyond 185 degrees. We take crème anglaise off the heat when the mixture registers 175 to 180, but when making the base for ice cream we push the temperature to 180 to 185 for maximum thickness. Baked custards, such as flan and crème brûlée, should jiggle (but not slosh) when gently shaken. This will occur between 170 to 175 degrees.