April 8th, 2012
Photography by James Tse Food Styling by Carol Dudar Prop Styling by Jane Hardin
Preheat oven to 325 F. Place 1/3 cup of water and 2/3 cup sugar in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over low heat. Let sugar dissolve.
Using a pastry brush, carefully brush walls of pot with a little water to prevent sugar from crystallizing on the sides. Increase heat to medium-high and boil until syrup turns golden brown. Remove from heat promptly and carefully divide hot caramel among six 4-ounce ramekins and set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together egg yolks, remaining sugar and vanilla. Set aside.
In a medium saucepan, bring milk and cream just to a boil.Turn heat off.
Gently whisk 2 tablespoons of hot milk mixture into egg mixture. To prevent excessive bubbles, slowly whisk in remaining hot milk mixture a little at a time. Strain through a fine sieve.
Line a baking dish with paper towel. Place ramekins evenly spaced in bottom of the dish. Pour 4 ounces of custard mixture into ramekins. Place into oven on the outside edge of middle rack.
Carefully pour boiling water into baking dish until it's two thirds of the way up ramekins (be careful not to get any water on the custard mixture).
Cover baking dish with aluminum foil and very gently slide dish to centre of rack for even baking.
Bake for about 35 minutes or until custards are almost set “ they should have a slight jiggle when they come out.
Remove from oven, and use tongs to remove custards from water bath. Let stand at room temperature for 5 minutes, then refrigerate until well chilled.
To serve, dip ramekin in very hot water for 15 to 20 seconds. Run a sharp knife around sides of ramekin. Invert custard onto plate. The caramel will pool around it.