Creme Caramel

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Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Easy

  • Serves

    8–10

Appears in

Falling Cloudberries

By Tessa Kiros

Published 2004

  • About

I have always loved this effortless dessert. It doesn’t scream for attention, and its lightness and gentle caramel flavour need no extra decoration.

Ingredients

  • 350 g (12 oz) sugar
  • 1 litre (4 cups) milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 6 eggs

Method

Preheat the oven to 160°C (310°F/Gas 2). To make the caramel, put 200 g (7 oz) of the sugar and a few drops of water in a heavy-based saucepan over high heat. As soon as the side starts to colour, lower the heat and swirl the pan around to distribute the heat. Watch the sugar closely as it can burn in a second.

When the caramel is deep gold, remove it from the heat and immediately pour it into a 24 cm ( inch) cake or ring tin, or into 8 or 10 small ramekins. Holding the tin with a cloth, swirl it around to quickly spread the caramel all over the base and a little up the side. Take care as it sets quickly. Set the tin aside while you make the custard.

Heat the milk in a saucepan until almost boiling, then remove from the heat. Whisk together the vanilla, eggs and the rest of the sugar in a large bowl. Add a ladleful of the hot milk to the eggs to acclimatise them, and whisk to prevent them from cooking. Slowly add the rest of the milk to the eggs, trying not to make them too frothy.

Strain the custard carefully into a large jug and then pour onto the caramel. Put the tin in a deep baking dish and carefully pour enough boiling water into the dish to come halfway up the side of the tin. Bake for 50–60 minutes in the centre of the oven until the top is golden in parts, quite set but still a little wobbly. Remove from the oven and from the water bath, and leave to cool. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least a few hours (or overnight) before serving.

Gently loosen the side of the crème caramel with the back of a spoon or your fingers. Put a large serving dish (with a slight rim to contain the caramel juice) upside down over your pudding. Holding the plate and cake tin firmly with your fingers, carefully and quickly flip them over, so that the plate is the right way up and the pudding plops gently down with the caramel sauce. Serve thick slices with the caramel spooned over.