Custardy baked macaroni and cheese is our favorite way to celebrate a special occasion. We came up with an easy, stir-together sauce of cream, evaporated milk and eggs, then loaded it up with sharp Cheddar. Topped with buttery breadcrumbs, the entire dish gets rich, bubbly and brown in the oven.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Combine the panko, melted butter and 1 teaspoon salt in a small bowl; set aside.
Cook the pasta according to the package directions for al dente. Drain well and return to the pot.
Whisk together the cream, mustard, cayenne, eggs, evaporated milk, 1 tablespoon salt and 1 teaspoon black pepper in a large bowl. Reserve 2 cups of the grated Cheddar for topping. Stir the remaining Cheddar into the sauce.
Pour the cheese mixture into the pot with the macaroni and place over medium heat. Cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture is warm but not hot, about 3 minutes.
Transfer to a 9-by-13-inch baking dish and sprinkle evenly with the reserved Cheddar. Top with the breadcrumb mixture.
Bake until the center of the casserole is set and the top is golden brown, 45 to 50 minutes.