Monday, December 5, 2011

Créme Caramel (Custard with Caramelized Sugar)

Yield: 6 servings

This dessert is not as common as it was in Morocco, but it is a popular in Italian restaurants. Caramel Coating: ¼ cup sugar

1. Heat sugar in a heavy pot over a low flame. Watch carefully and stir constantly as the sugar begins to melt.
2. Continue stirring and slowly heating until the liquid sugar is the color of maple syrup. Be sure not to let the sugar burn.
3. Remove the pot from the heat. Spoon 2 teaspoons of the liquid sugar into 1 individual custard cup.
4. Tilt the cup so the liquid sugar coats the inside of the cup.
5. One at a time, repeat steps 3 & 4 for the remaining five cups. If you are using a muffin tray, it is easiest to coat the cups one at a time. Set aside. The caramel coating will harden. Custard: 1 cup plus 3 tablespoons mild 1/3 cup sugar 2 eggs 1/8 teaspoon salt ¾ teaspoon vanilla
6. Preheat oven to 325°F.
7. Combine the milk, sugar, eggs, salt, and vanilla in a bowl and beat until the mixture is frothy.
8. Pour equal amounts of the mixture into each of the muffin cups.
9. Place a rack in a baking pan and place the muffin tray on the rack. Pour very hot (not boiling) water into the baking pan so the water rises about 1 inch around the cups.
10. Set the whole pan with rack, water, and muffin tray into the oven and bake for 50 minutes. Test for doneness by inserting a knife blade into the custard. If it comes out clean, the custard is done 11. Remove the muffin tray and chill it for at least 1 hour.
12. When the tray is entirely chilled, dip 1 muffin cup over a small plate. If the custard does not unmold easily, slide a knife blade between the custard and the side of the muffin cup and push gently.
13. Repeat the unmolding process for the remaining 5 cups.
14. Refrigerate them until they are served.

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