How to Temper Eggs {Custards, Puddings & More}

Have you ever wondered what makes Hollandaise Sauce so savory and silky? What about mac and cheese, custards, or pudding? When it comes to tempered eggs it’s important to know how to do it properly to create the perfect base. With a little careful whisking, you’ll be able to thicken your recipes like a pro in no time!

You don’t have to worry about separating the egg whites from the egg yolks, most purposes for tempering use the entire egg after it has been cracked and whisked. Like in this delicious banana cream pie recipe or creamy rice pudding.

Warm milk being slowly whisked into egg mixture.

What Does Tempered Eggs Mean?

Tempered Eggs is simply a process of slowly warming the eggs before introducing them to your recipe so they mix smoothly.

Example: If you have a hot pot of milk and stir in eggs, you’ll end up with little scrambled egg bits in the milk instead of a smooth mixture.

If you add a little bit of the hot milk to the eggs while whisking, you will bring the temperature up slowly so they will mix smoothly into your milk.

Why Do You Temper Eggs?

Tempering eggs allows for a natural thickening of a recipe allowing a bit of savory or sweet flavor. Be sure to work slowly and don’t skip steps in order to keep the eggs from actually cooking.

A glass bowl full of tempered eggs.

How to Temper Eggs

Tempering eggs is as easy as 1, 2, 3! With just a little work you can create the perfect base for your favorite recipes.

  1. Bring the liquid to a boil (broth, stock, milk, or cream)
  2. Whisk the eggs separately in another bowl. Using eggs whites or egg yolks will yield different results, but most tempered eggs use the entire egg.
  3. Slowly add the hot liquid to the eggs a little bit at a time and whisk constantly. The key here is to slowly bring up the temperature of the eggs without cooking or scrambling them.

Keep whisking until the mixture has reached its desired thickness.

How to Save Incorrectly Tempered Eggs

You don’t need to start all over, improperly tempered eggs can be saved! Here’s how you do it!

Pour the liquid into a blender and whip it on ‘HIGH’ in order to emulsify everything. A personal blender like a Magic Bullet or Ninja will work as well. All you need to do is break everything down to a point that it is a smooth enough base to continue to use. Strain if needed.

These are a quick and easy way to lightly thicken a variety of recipes!

Delicious Recipe Using Tempered Eggs

A glass bowl full of tempered eggs.
Warm milk being slowly whisked into egg mixture.
Top photo - A glass bowl full of tempered eggs. Bottom photo - Warm milk being slowly whisked into egg mixture.

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