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Apr 14, 2007 07:32 AM

Using gelatin in custards

I'd love to make more custards, creme brulees, puddings, ice creams, etc., but I'd really like to cut down on the heavy ingredients.

Can gelatin substitute for some of the egg or egg yolk in these recipes, and if so, how would you go about adapting a recipe. Let's say that, for example, a creme caramel recipe calls for about 5 eggs, and involves heating milk and cream, then adding that to a mixture of sugar and eggs, then straining the liquid and ultimately baking the custards. How would you incorporate gelatin into this type of recipe?

By the way, I'd be happy to substitute only half of the egg quantity if that is the only way to make the recipe work.

Any ideas?

The next step would be to substitute for the heavy cream, so I'd love any ideas about that too. I once tried making ice cream with fat-free half and half and lecithin granules, which was one of the more repulsive and memorable kitchen disasters I've had!!!

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  1. Have you explored any panna cotta recipes. I think you'd find much of what you are looking for in them, like a buttermilk panna cotta whic would really cut back fat. Epicurious has a few dozen and there are many more out there.

    1. -----

      Unfortunately you cannot really call anything a custard without the required sinful ingredients. And don't expect to cook with gelatin, as the blond joke goes, that she boiled it for 5 minutes and it refused to thicken. LOL- it won't as it gels upon lower refrigeration temperatures. (40< degrees F)

      I would do some more homework as there is thousands of ways to do something, but only a few desirable alternatives.

      1. I'm not sure if you can use a lower-fat milk with gelatin, but Candy's suggestion of panna cotta is excellent. Look on or to see if they suggest any low-fat panna cotta recipes.

        But even if it's not low-fat, it's so delicious! And so filling you really can only eat a small bit, so that's encouraging. Portion size!

        1. Baked Custard

          2 whole eggs or 1 whole egg and 1 egg white
          1 cup LF milk
          3 Tbs splenda
          1 tsp vanilla

          Preheat oven to 350..

          Blend all ingredients but nutmeg together very well. Pour into 3 custard cups. Sprinkle with nutmeg. Bake 25 minutes in a water bath.

          1. I know that for creme brulee and creme caramel, you can use lower-fat products. For instance, you can use half and half and skim milk. However, don't expect the texture to be exactly the same. That mouthfeel is from the fat and is hard to replicate.
            You can also use Eggbeaters in ice cream, along with lower-fat milk and cream products.
            I'd say experiment!