Creme Caramel or Flan
Creme caramel or flan is a custard dessert that has this layer of burnt caramel on top, and it’s surrounded by this delicious caramel syrup.
– 4 whole eggs
– 2 egg yolks
– 1/2 cup sugar
– 2 ½ cups half & half
– 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the Caramel:
– ¾ cup of sugar
– 1/2 cup water
First, arrange your ramekins on a baking pan. You can use anywhere from 4 to 6 depending on how big your ramekins are.
To start we’re going to cook the caramel. Combine your sugar and water in a small sauce pan and simmer it over medium heat, stirring it occasionally until the sugar dissolves. Let it cook until the caramel turns into this rich amber and color. I would say this takes about about 20 or 25 minutes. But during the last few minutes make sure you keep a close eye on it because once it starts to turn a golden color it’s going to start darkening quick. Now, while it’s still hot, carefully pour a little bit of the sugar syrup into each of your ramekins, just enough to coat the bottoms; if the caramel starts to get hard just gently reheat it.
Now preheat your oven to 300° F. In another saucepan, bring the milk and sugar to a simmer on medium heat and gently stir it to dissolve the sugar again. This will take 3 to 5 minutes, then let it cool for a bit while you start working on the eggs.
Now in a large bowl thoroughly whisk the eggs with the yolks. Then slowly whisk in the warm milk and then add the vanilla. The eggs are going to leave behind these globby yolky pieces so we want to strain it out.
Strain the mixture through a sieve into a pouring cup. Then fill each of the ramekins near the top. Add some hot water to the roasting pan until it reaches almost halfway up the ramekins, so basically half of the pan. This will provide a little bit of steam and soft even heat while you’re baking it so it doesn’t burn the custard. Cover the entire pan with foil and then bake the custards for about 35-40 minutes until they’re set but still jiggly.
Remove the ramekins from the water bath and then let them cool on a rack to room temperature. Then cover it with some plastic wrap and refrigerate it overnight.
Now comes the fun part. To serve, pour 2 inches of really hot water into a small bowl. Dip the ramekin in the hot water for about 10 seconds. This is going to help loosen all the caramel sauce up. Then run a thin knife around the edge of the ramekins to loosen the custard. Now take a plate, put it on top of the ramekin and then invert the whole thing. Look at the colors, it’s like ombre! Make sure with each bite, you get a little bit of the sauce. Enjoy!
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