Crème caramel

Basic caramel

1 Cup granulated sugar

¼ Teaspoon fresh lemon juice

  • Fill a cup measure halfway with water and put a pastry brush in it; this will be used for washing down the sides of the pan to prevent crystallization.

  • In a heavy-duty 2-quart saucepan, stir the sugar, lemon juice, and ¼ cup cold water.

  • Brush down the sides of the pan with water to wash away any sugar crystals.

  • Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and cook, occasionally brushing down the sides of the pan, until the mixture starts to colour around the edges, 5-8 minutes.

  • Gently swirl the pan once to even out the colour and prevent the sugar from burning in isolated spots.

  • Continue to cook until the sugar turns medium amber, about 30 seconds more. (Once the mixture begins to colour, it will darken very quickly, so keep an eye on it.)

Crème Caramel

2 Cups whole milk

1 Cup heavy cream

⅔ Cup granulated sugar

⅛ Teaspoon table salt

4 Large eggs

2 Large egg yolks

1 Teaspoon pure vanilla extract

  • Preheat oven to 160 degree Celsius

  • Position a rack in the centre of the oven

  • Arrange eight 6-oz ramekins in a large roasting pan

  • Immediately pour the hot caramel into the bottoms of the ramekins, portioning it equally.

  • Quickly and carefully swirl each ramekin to coat the bottom evenly and coax the caramel about 1 cm up the sides of the ramekins

  • Set aside to let the caramel harden

  • Fill a kettle with water and bring to a boil.

  • Combine the milk, cream, sugar, and salt in a heavy-duty saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally.

  • Remove the pan from the heat.

  • Whisk the eggs, yolks, and vanilla in a medium bowl and then slowly add the hot milk mixture, whisking constantly.

  • Strain the mixture through a fine sieve into a heatproof measuring cup.

  • Portion the custard among the ramekins, it should just about fill each one.

  • Pour the boiling water into the roasting pan about one-third to halfway up the sides of the ramekins (be careful not to splash water into the custards).

  • Bake the custards in the water bath until the edges are set but the centres still jiggle slightly when gently shaken, 30-35 minutes.

  • If the centres are more wavy than jiggly, cook them a bit longer.

  • Rotate the pan halfway through if the custards appear to be baking unevenly.

  • Carefully transfer the ramekins to a wire rack and cool completely.

  • Cover each ramekin with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 12 hours, or up to 3 days.

  • To serve, run a small knife around the edge of each ramekin to loosen the custard.

  • Quickly invert each custard onto a plate. If it doesn’t release right away, gently shake the ramekin from side to side a few times to help it out

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