Purin – Japanese Egg Custard Pudding

Recipe adapted from: https://www.chopstickchronicles.com/custard-pudding/#wprm-recipe-video-container-6020

Holy moly. This recipe is amazing. We’ve been isolating ourselves on the farm lately and I’ve been browsing a lot more recipe websites and getting a bit closer to my Asian roots with some Asian dishes. I stumbled across this recipe which looked easy enough. It’s similar to a creme caramel or a flan (also another recipe on this website) but with a more milky and less eggy taste. It’s dense and beautiful. You can serve it hot or cold, but it tastes a million times more amazing once it’s set.

Note: I’ve only made this once and cooking times will vary depending on what you bake the purin in (ie. a thick ramekin will require more cooking time than a glass cup). It will take some trial and error but once you have it right, it’s AMAZING.

I’ve changed the recipe slightly but mostly kept it the same. Refer to the original website for some photos and a video of the process if you get lost. The directions are pretty wordy and seems long, but this is actually a super simple dessert once you start making it.

Servings: 4 single serve purins


  • 4 small ramekins (or any small bowl/cup that can withstand heat on a stove)
  • A frying pan with a lid (the pan should be deep enough that you can fit the ramekins in with the lid on)
  • Dry tea towel
  • Whisk


  • Caramel:
    • 70g granulated sugar
    • 50ml water
  • PurinL
    • 3 large eggs
    • 60g granulated sugar
    • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
    • 300ml milk – whole milk is better but light will work
    • 100ml evaporated milk – can use regular milk if you don’t have it, just won’t be as creamy


  1. Grease 4 small ramekins with either butter or any neutral oil (ie vegetable/canola oil). Set aside.
    • Note: you don’t need to use ramekins if you don’t have one. Any cup/bowl will do as long as it can withstand heat on the stove.
  2. In a small saucepan, make the caramel by combining the sugar with water over medium heat and stir until sugar has dissolved and the solution turns into an amber caramel colour. Once the caramel is ready, distribute it evenly into the 4 ramekins. The caramel will very quickly harden. Set aside.
    • Note: This is the longest step and can take 10-15mins. The colour change likely won’t happen until the water evaporates and becomes thickened. Once the colour starts changing, stir frequently until you get the desired colour. Be careful not to overdo it and burn the caramel!)
  3. While you’re waiting for the caramel, you can make the pudding filling (but keep your eyes on the caramel so it doesn’t burn): in a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, 60g sugar, and vanilla extract until combined.
  4. In a separate bowl, combine the milk and evaporated milk and microwave for about 1-2 mins until it’s warm (you don’t want it hot!). Add this milk mixture to the egg mixture gradually while whisking.
  5. Strain this purin mixture to remove any clumps, then distribute it evenly between the 4 ramekins over the caramel.
  6. Place your ramekins in a pan and add about 2cm of water into the pan around the molds. Turn the heat on high and when the water boils, wrap the pan lid with a dry tea towel (this avoids condensed water from dripping on your purins) and put the lid on. Turn the heat down to low-medium for 15mins then turn the heat off and leave it to steam for 15mins (do not open the lid!)
    • Note on cooking time: it can differ greatly depending on what you put the purin in (ie a glass mold will be faster to cook than a thick ceramic ramekin). These times are based on ramekins, so adjust it as needed. If you’re making this for the first time and don’t know your cooking time, check the mixture after 5mins of cooking on low-medium heat. If it’s very liquid-y, then bring the heat back up to a boil then cover with the lid and cook on low-med heat for another 5mins and recheck. Keep doing this until the pudding looks slightly thickened, then cover and cook for another 3-5 mins on low-medium heat and then turn heat off and let steam for 15mins.
  7. After 15mins, the purin should be set with a good jiggle (but not liquidy!) – you can poke it with a toothpick and see if it stands up. If it’s too liquid-y, then cook it for a little longer. Take the ramekins out of the pan and allow it to cool. Refrigerate it for at least an hour, then serve. You can either serve it in the molds or cut around the edges with a butter knife and invert the molds onto a plate and serve upside down.


  • The caramel will likely harden on the bottom of your ramekin and you might not be able to get it off when eating. I’ve found that the faster you pour in the purin mixture after the caramel has been poured in the ramekin and hardened, the less likely it sticks to the bottom when eating.

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