I think this was my first time making creme caramel - I usually make brulee or just plain custard ( or panna cotta), but I'll definitely be making this again! It's fairly easy to make, and the texture is firm, not too sweet, and lends itself to all kinds of additions and/or garnishes.
Because I thought the creme caramel was in need of some sharp, fruity contrast, I made a little relish using a few cranberries and strawberries, but I would think reducing a zingy fruit juice would be wonderful, too. Maybe passionfruit next time?
To make about 6 servings:
Preheat oven to 330F
Grease 6 ramekins well.
1/2 cup sugar plus 1/4 cup sugar for the caramel sauce
4 large fresh eggs
1 3/4 cups milk
1/4 cup medium cream
1 1/2 t. vanilla
1/4 t. cinnamon
pinch of salt
In a small saucepan, place 1/4 cup sugar and the cinnamon over medium heat until just golden and melted.
Immediately, pour about 2 tablespoons into the bottom of each greased ramekin until all the sauce is used up. Set aside.
In a mixer bowl, whisk or mix the eggs, milk, cream, and salt til frothy, then add the vanilla.
Pour into the ramekins.
Set the ramekins into a baking pan, and then carefully add enough boiling water to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins. This is the traditional bain-marie or water bath. Place in oven and bake for 40 minutes. The creme caramel should be firm. When done, remove from hot pan to a plate and let cool in the fridge for an hour.
Now, here comes the tricky part. When you're ready to unmold, carefully use a sharp knife to run around the lip of the creme, then again slowly around inside the ramekin. Invert onto the serving plate you're using and it should pop out, along with the drizzle of caramel sauce. It should, but doesn't always. So just be patient and try again. If you wish, you can add a circle of strawberry and cranberry relish, then invert the creme caramel on top of that.
To make the relish:
about a half cup frozen cranberries and a half cup frozen strawberries, cut up.
Place berries in food processor while still frozen and pulse til finely chopped.
Let thaw right in the bowl, then use about a heaping tablespoon under ( or, I guess, over would work) the creme caramel. If you're in a real rush, there's always the microwave for a few seconds.
The cranberry relish added a wonderful tart zing to the creme, which, frankly, I felt it needed.
What I've been reading:
Reservation Blues, by Sherman Alexie. Magical, disturbing, complex novel encompassing Indian reservation life, music, and an odyssey of sorts.
What was up two years ago: Lemon-Chive pasta!