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shredded or flaked coconut
For caramel topping, heat sugar and water in a small skillet, stirring constantly, until sugar melts and turns golden brown.
Pour syrup into a 1-quart baking dish or 6 custard cups, tipping to coat bottom and partway up sides. Set dish (or cups) aside.
For custard, scald milk. Beat eggs; beat in sugar,salt, and vanilla extract. Gradually beat scalded milk into egg mixture. Strain into prepared baking dish or custard cups. Sprinkle top with coconut.
Place baking dish in pan containing hot water which comes at least 1 inch up sides of dish or cups.
Bake at 325F degrees about 45 minutes for individual custard cups, or 1 hour for baking dish.