Creme Caramel

While there was quite a selection of discounted candy at CVS, I decided to be reasonable and only get a single, small box of assorted chocolates.  I have a bad habit of buying a ridiculous amount of candy and either inhaling it immediately or saving it until the chocolate starts to bloom and get funky, and since Luke had already gotten me some chocolates, I figured I’d go easy this time.  Hey, Easter’s not that far away.

I won’t be posting tomorrow or Saturday, as I’ll be at a hiring conference in Boston for the majority of both days.  I’m very excited for it, though not so excited to be waking up early enough to be in Boston by 8 am.

Back to excitement though.  This dessert is exciting, however you want to call it.  The recipe I used called it crème caramel, you can also call it flan.  By any name, it still tastes awesome.

It was my first attempt at making a custard like this, so I was very pleased when it inverted cohesively.  Though it does leave a hardened caramel layer on the bottom of the ramekins that has to soak in boiling water to loosen up.  If not for the high-ish sides of the ramekins, I may have attempted to lick the caramel like a lollipop.  Oh well, maybe next time.

Crème Caramel

Adapted from Scientifically Sweet

Makes 6 individual servings

For the caramel:

2/3 cup granulated sugar

2 tbsp water

¼ tsp distilled white vinegar

For the custard:

½ cup granulated sugar

1/3 cup heavy whipping cream

1 2/3 cup 2% milk

3 large eggs

1 large egg yolk

½ tsp pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 325°F.  To make the caramel, pour sugar in an even layer in the bottom of a small 1-quart saucepan and drizzle water and vinegar around the inner edges of the pan. Place pot over medium-high heat and cook until sugar is dissolved and mixture changes into clear syrup. Decrease heat to medium and continue to cook until mixture turns golden amber, swirling pan periodically for even coloring.  This will take 5-10mins. Do not stir the mixture or the sugar will crystallize.

Immediately and carefully pour liquid caramel into the bottom of six 3-inch round (6 oz) ramekins, dividing it equally and swirling ramekins to coat the bottoms evenly; set aside until the caramel has cooled and hardened.

In a small saucepan, bring milk and cream to a boil over medium-low heat, watching it carefully.

To make the custard, in a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, yolk and sugar until well blended. Add ¼ cup of hot milk and whisk until smooth. Gradually add another ¼ cup while whisking constantly. Switch to a rubber spatula and add remaining milk while stirring constantly. Stir in vanilla extract. Pour the mixture through a fine mesh sieve and into a large measuring cup or clean bowl and pour or ladle it into caramel-lined ramekins.

Transfer ramekins to a deep glass baking dish (I used my 9×13”). Add enough hot water to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Bake until the edges are set and the center is just slightly wobbly, about 25 to 30 minutes. A knife should come out clean when inserted in the centers.

Transfer baking dish to a wire rack and let ramekins cool completely in the water. Once cooled, refrigerate until completely set, about 2 hours. To serve, run a sharp knife around the inside edges of the crème caramel. Place a plate serving-side-down over the ramekin and invert so that the bottom of the ramekin is facing up. Gently remove the ramekin, giggling it slightly if necessary to let the custard come loose.



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