Creme caramel, or flan, is supposed to sit in the refrigerator overnight before any unmolding/serving/eating can begin. Refrigeration causes the caramel to harden/solidify and allows the custard to absorb all of the liquid (from the wet caramel). But I didn’t have time to let my ramekins sit overnight in the fridge. So there’s a runny pool of caramel surrounding my finished product in the above photo.
- 8 oz sugar
- Enough splashes of water to make a paste that resembles really wet sand
- 1 T Corn Syrup
- 1 quart milk
- ½ vanila bean or 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 4 eggs
- 4 egg yolks
- 8 oz sugar
- 6 Ramekins (4-6 oz size)
- 2 qt Sauce Pan
- 3 qt Sauce Pan
- Stainless Steel Lasagna Pan or Roaster filled with Half-Way with Warm Water
- Pastry Brush
- Large Bowl filled with Veryh Cold Water
Prepare the Caramel First:
- Put the sugar in a 2 qt sauce pan. Add enough water to attain a paste that resembles very wet sand. Add the corn syrup. Wipe any residual sugar from the sides of the sauce pan with a wet pastry brush. Not a crystal of sugar should be in sight or on the sides of the sauce pan.
- Place sauce pan on LOW heat. Do not stir AT ALL, not even a little bit. If any sugar appears on the sides of the sauce pan, make sure to immediately wipe it clean with a wet pastry brush, but never let your brush touch or disrupt the main mixture. Even the faintest bit of sugar that escapes from the mixture and sticks to the side of the pan will cause your caramel to recrystallize and you’ll never be able to reach the liquid phase. It’s okay to use generous amounts of water with your brush to “splash” off sugar sticking to the sides of the pan. Splash away and let the sugar run back down into the mixture. The water will evaporate so you can use as much water as necessary to get the stick crystals off the sides of the pan.
- Once the sugar dissolves completely (it will take a long time…about 20-30 minutes), turn the heat up to high. But, still, no stirring is allowed. Stirring will encourage recrystalllization.
- Eventually, the mixture will start to boil and once it turns an amber color, remove the pan to a large bowl of cold water for just 5-10 seconds. Immediately pour the caramel into each ramekin (aim for a ¼ inch layer).
Next, Prepare the Custard:
- Scald the milk in 4 qt sauce pan.
- Blend together eggs and sugar. Combine the egg mixture with the hot milk in the sauce pan. Remove from heat.
- Pour the warm mixture into ramekins lined with caramel.
- Gently skim off any traces of foam from the top of the custard with the back of a spoon.
- Place the ramekins in the lasagna pan filled with warm water. Only the bottom half of the ramekin should be sitting the warm water bath.
- Bake in the warm water bath at 350 F for about 40 minutes, or until the custard jiggles like jelly and not like a wave.
- Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
- Just before serving, remove the ramekins from the refrigerator and run a paring knife around the circumference of each ramekin to loosen the mold.
- Place a small dessert plate on top of the ramekin (face-side down). Holding onto the ramekin and plate together, flip the plate over so that the creme caramel ends up caramel side up on the plate.
- Serve and enjoy.
What you should know
Recipe from baking class at Tante Marie’s Cooking School.