- March 2013
- Serves 8
- Hands-on time 10 minutes, 2 hours 30 minutes to cook, plus infusing and chilling
Crème caramel is a dessert loved by all ages. Enjoy this classic, family favourite with our simple recipe – it’s bound to impress.
For a twist on this French classic, take a look at our crème caramels with caramel oranges.
- 9.1g (4g saturated)
- 46.2g (45.1g sugars)
- 800ml whole milk
- 1 vanilla pod, split lengthways
- 3 medium free-range eggs and 4 yolks
- 160g caster sugar
For the caramel
- 175g caster sugar
- Make the caramel first. Put the 175g sugar in a heavy-based pan with a good splash of water and melt over a low heat until all the sugar has dissolved. Increase the heat and boil the mixture, swirling the pan to make sure the sugar caramelises evenly, until it has taken on a rich, dark colour.
- Remove the pan from the heat and pour the caramel into the base of a 23cm x 5cm deep round baking dish, tipping it to cover the base evenly with caramel. Set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 160°C/fan140°C/gas 3. Put the milk in a heavy-based pan, scrape the seeds from the vanilla pod and put them in the pan with the pod. Bring to the boil, then immediately remove from the heat and set aside for 10 minutes.
- Boil a kettle. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, lightly whisk the eggs and egg yolks with the sugar. Remove the vanilla pod from the milk, then pour over the egg mixture and whisk well.
- Strain the mixture through a sieve into the baking dish, on top of the caramel. Put the baking dish in a large, deep roasting tin, then transfer to the centre rack of the oven. Carefully pour the just-boiled water into the roasting tin until the water comes halfway up the sides of the baking dish. Bake in the oven for 2 hours until the custard is just set.
- Remove from the oven and leave to cool, then chill for at least 2 hours or overnight. Run a sharp knife around the edge of the pudding, then turn out onto a plate and serve.
Be brave here: boil the caramel to a dark red-brown colour. Too light-coloured and the pud will be too sweet – the best crème caramels have a hint of bitterness from the dark caramel.
Lightly whisk the egg whites, then freeze in a sealed container or small freezer bag with the number of whites clearly marked. You can use them in other recipes.
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