One of my favourite desserts in the world is Creme Caramel. I can easily clear out 2 entire 9 inch 'share' pies of my own at the Pan Pacific Hotel Mother's Day Buffet alone after a dozen or so stealthy trips to the dessert table. I've never dared try this on my own. Between making the caramel sauce to setting up a bain marie, ensuring the custard is set, and getting them out of the ramekins it can be pretty intimidating. For this last day of 2013, I decided to take a crack at this old french favourite. I hope you like my recipe. The ingredients are simple, and it requires some attention but it's definitely worth it! I've modified the recipe to include a 7 ounce ramekin because let's face it, 4 ounce isn't going to cut it as a single serving. ;)
CREME CARAMEL RECIPE
- 1.25 cups sugar
- 5 tablespoon water
- 1 litre homo milk (or 2%)
- 1 vanilla bean, split and scraped.
- 3 large eggs plus 3 large egg yolks at room temperature
- 2/3 cup white sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon table salt
- 3 generous teaspoons of Maison Cote vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Place seven, 7 ounce (or ten 4-ounce) ramekins in a large roasting pan (I had to use two). Most recipes call for the smaller ramekins but I feel dissatisfied with such small ones so I've opted for more generous ramekins.
Set an electric kettle to boil with water for later.
Mix water and sugar in a small pot over medium-high, stir to dissolve, then only swirl occasionally, until caramel begins to turn medium amber - a honey-like colour. It was about 10 minutes for me.
In a medium pot, heat milk over medium until hot, but not boiling. Split and scrape the vanilla bean into the milk. (Save the pod to soak in vodka to make your own homemade vanilla extract.)
Transfer roasting pan to oven. Add enough boiling water to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins.
Bake until custards are just set, about 35 minutes.
With tongs, remove ramekins from hot water and let cool. Cover and refrigerate until cold, at least 3 hours (or up to 3 days).
To unmold, run a sharp knife around inside of each ramekins, place a plate on top and quickly invert onto a serving plate, gently shaking to release. It should just pop out but if it doesn't, warm the ramekin up with a bit of warm running tap water without getting it into the custard.