It is also known as flan or custard, and also for its popular variation, CrÃ¨me Caramel (which instead features soft caramel on top).
In a mixing bowl, gently whisk egg yolks, salt and 1/3 cup of sugar. Don't let it get too foamy. In a saucepan over medium heat, combine heavy cream, remaining sugar and vanilla bean (split in half length-wise and scrape seeds into cream). Bring mixture to a simmer, but do not boil. While whisking, slowly pour hot (but not boiling) cream mixture into egg mixture. Pour mixture through a single cheese cloth into another bowl. Fill ramekins with custard and place on a sheet tray. Fill tray with warm water halfway up the side of ramekins. Turn oven to 280 degrees F. Place tray in oven and bake for 40-50 minutes. Remove ramekins from tray and cool for 30 minutes. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
1. Sprinkle a pinch of sugar over entire surface of custard. 2. Take flame of blowtorch and pass evenly over sugar surface until sugar is caramelized as a hardened coating with a brownish hue (take care not to burn sugar or custard). 3. Add a second thin layer of sugar over the first, and repeat step 2.
Makes 6 servings
Recipe courtesy of Colorado Chef Bob Holloway, Eggland's Best Eggs, via the Colorado Department of Agriculture.
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