Crème caramel, or flan as we all know it here, is a classic dessert loved by just about everyone. It is hard to go wrong with this popular crowd-pleaser which requires nothing more than sugar, milk and eggs. The amber-coloured, soft caramel topping is what distinguishes gives this elegant dessert from a similar custard-based dish, the crème brûlée, which has a thin brittle coating of caramelized sugar. You can either divide this recette grand–mère to make individual servings or pour everything in one large ovenproof dish if you have to impress a large party of guests. They are sure to go for second helpings so I recommend that you keep a second one in the fridge, just in case…
FLAN / CREME CARAMEL
4 eggs, room temperature
2 1/2 cups full cream milk
2 tbs caster sugar
1 tbs vanilla extract
1/2 cup granulated sugar
- In a heavy-based saucepan, place 1/2 cup sugar and heat over low heat until it melts and becomes amber coloured.
- Carefully pour the hot caramel into a large ramekin or mould and swirl around so that it coats the base and sides well.
- Lightly beat eggs in a large bowl. Heat milk in a saucepan until it simmers. Do not boil. Slowly pour hot milk over eggs.
- Stir continuously as you add milk to the eggs otherwise the mixture will curdle. Beat until smooth, then add vanilla.
- Pour the custard over the caramel and place the ramekin in a water bath. You can use either an oven or a pressure cooker.
- In both cases, place the ramekin so that it is half submerged in water. Cook for 30 minutes until the top appears set.
- Remove ramekin from the water bath and cool completely to room temperature. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
- Run a thin knife around edges to loosen and carefully invert flan onto a serving plate. Makes 8 generous servings.