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Traditional Caramel Custard Recipe

Every country seems to have a caramel coated custard dessert that is popular. In Latin America, Spanish Speaking Countries, and the Phillipines, it is called Flan, or Flan de Leche (milk custard); in France, it is called Crème Caramel. In America, the name Flan has been adopted by many, but it is also called Caramel Custard. No matter what it is called, the dessert consists of a rich baked custard topped with liquid caramel.
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While not difficult to make, this dessert is not particularly quick and requires several steps. First sugar is melted in a pan until it becomes a golden caramel; the caramel is poured into a mold where it hardens. Next a rich custard mixture is poured over the caramel. The mold is baked in a water bath in the oven until the custard is set, then the custard is chilled thoroughly in the refrigerator before being unmolded onto a serving plate. During the chilling process, the hard caramel liquefies and covers the top and sides of the custard during the unmolding process.

This dessert can be made up to the unmolding step 3-4 days ahead as long as it is kept tightly covered and airtight. It can be baked in one large mold or small ramekins as the occasion dictates.

12 Servings

3/4 cup sugar

6 large eggs
5 egg yolks
3/4 cup sugar
2 cups hot milk
2 cups whipping cream, heated
1 tablespoon vanilla
1/8 teaspoon salt
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°.

  2. Measure the sugar in a frying pan and turn the heat to high.
  3. Watch it carefully, and stir occasionally, until the sugar melts and turns golden brown.

  4. A heat-proof scraper is helpful for stirring the melted portions into the center while the remaining sugar melts.

  5. Pour an equal amount of the hot caramel into 12 small ramekins or 2 quart ring mold or other mold, swirling to coat the bottom(s). ( Note: If the caramel hardens before you have poured it into the mold, rewarm it briefly over low heat until liquefied.)

  6. Custard: Blend the eggs, yolks, and sugar in a bowl with a whip--stir; do not beat (beating creates foam).

  7. Gradually blend in the hot milk and cream to dissolve the sugar completely, again stirring rather than beating to minimize foam.

  8. Add the vanilla and salt; pour through the fine strainer into the caramelized dish(es).

  9. Skim any bubbles off the top of the custard.

  10. Set the dish(es) in a large pan and place in the lower third of the oven.

  11. Pour boiling water around the dishes - enough to come halfway up the dish(es).

  12. Bake the custard(s) until a skewer or knife inserted down an inch from the edge comes out clean; the center should tremble slightly.

  13. Remove from the oven and let cool to room temperature. Wrap tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate until cold – up to 4 days if making ahead.
  14. To unmold, run a knife around the edge, place a serving platter or plate upside down on the custard, and invert.

  15. Garnish with fresh berries and mint.

Amount Per Serving
Calories 326 Calories from Fat 186
Percent Total Calories From: Fat 57% Protein 8% Carb. 35%

Nutrient Amount per Serving
Total Fat 21 g
Saturated Fat 11 g
Cholesterol 252 mg
Sodium 94 mg
Total Carbohydrate 29 g
Dietary Fiber 0 g
Sugars 0 g
Protein 6 g

Vitamin A 18% Vitamin C 1% Calcium 0% Iron 4%




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