Another masterpiece from Mamma’s kitchen (aren’t they all?)…from the cook herself!

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I’m going to share a secret about crème caramel, also known as flan, my absolutely all-time favorite dessert. It’s one of the easiest things in the world to make and – bonus points – costs only pennies. You can make it in a soufflé dish for a crowd or in individual mini-soufflé ramekins. Here’s how…

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The sugar is just starting to caramelize. Another minute, then take it off the stove.
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The caramel will harden as soon as you pour it into the ramekins.
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Put the custard-filled ramekins, or a larger soufflé dish, in a high-sided baking pan and add hot water halfway up the sides of the dishes
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Run a knife around the inside of the ramekin, put a plate on top and then flip it over. You can see some caramel starting to ooze out on the left. Lift the ramekin off – and enjoy!

 

Creme Caramel

Ingredients

    Caramel
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon water
  • Custard
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 cups milk
  • a tiny pinch of salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°.
  2. Make the caramel by putting 1/2 cup sugar in a saucepan with the water. Swirl the pan over medium heat until the sugar melts. Swirl until it turns a pale golden color. Watch it like a hawk or it'll burn* and you'll have to start again. Under no circumstances stir the sugar mixture. You'll end up with a gooey mess - and have to start over.
  3. As soon as the caramel is ready, pour it into the ramekins or soufflé dish. Swirl to coat the bottom. Don't worry if it hardens too quickly. It all sorts itself out in the oven.
  4. Put all ingredients for the custard in a bowl and beat with a fork, whisk, or electric whisk until frothy. Pour into the ramekins.
  5. Place the dishes in a baking pan and pour hot (not boiling) water half way up the ramekins. Bake for 25 minutes then test for doneness by inserting a sharp knife or metal skewer near the edge. If it comes out clean, your crème caramel is done. Larger containers will take longer to cook. Just test at intervals. Remove from the oven and cool the dishes on a rack (No rack? Improvise like this). When cool, refrigerate.
  6. To serve, run a knife around the edge of the ramekin, cover with a flat plate and flip it over. Serve with a dollop of fresh whipped cream and some berries.
  7. Bon Appétit!

Notes

If you burn the sugar, the easiest way to clean the pan is simply to fill it with water and bring it to a boil. The burned sugar will just dissolve.

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