burnt-caramel custard

October 8, 2013


I’ve been doing recipe posts since I started my blog in 2009 and there have been plenty of misshaps, and dishes that don’t make it on here. I am not a professional, but I truly love cooking and sharing some of the favorite recipes I’ve made. This was one of those recipes that I wasn’t sure I’d be able to share. For some reason, I always have the hardest making caramel. I’ve made it countless times before, and still it can be very tricky. The sugar doesn’t melt and crystalizes, the caramel burns too fast, etc., etc. Saturday wasn’t my day because even the vanilla beans I bought were dried out! But after a few tries, and a couple trips to the store, I finally got it right! And I’m so glad I hung in there, because this custard is the best I’ve ever had. It might even beat the Butterscotch Budino from Mozza, well maybe! If it’s your first time making caramel, or want a refresher, this is a great article by David Lebovitz on perfecting caramel, photos included!

Burnt-Caramel Custard from Bon Appetit October 2013
makes 8 servings

1 quart heavy cream
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
3/4 cup plus 4 Tablespoons sugar, divided
6 large egg yolks, room temperature
pinch of kosher salt
Whipped cream (for serving; optional)
flaky sea salt {optional)

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Place cream in a medium saucepan; scrape in seeds from vanilla bean and add pod. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Remove from heat; set aside.

Bring 3/4 cup plus 2 Tablespoons sugar and 2 Tablespoons water to a boil in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally to dissolve sugar {don’t over-stir}. Make sure sugar is completely dissolved and then raise heat to medium-high. Boil, swirling pan occasionally {don’t over-stir!} and brushing down sides of pan with a wet pastry brush, until mixture turns a deep amber color, about 4 mints; remove from heat.

Remove vanilla pod from cream; discard. Slowly add cream to caramel {mixture will bubble vigorously). Heat over medium heat, stirring occasionallym until smooth, about 2 minutes.

Whisk egg yolks, kosher salt, and remaining 2 Tablespoons sugar in a large bowl. Slowly pour in caramel cream, whisking constantly. Divide custard amoung eight 6-ounce ramekins or oven-proof bowls, and palce in a kitchen towel-lined large baking dish or roasting pan. Fill pan with wer to come halfway up sides of ramekins. Bake until custad is just set but still jiggly in the center, 60-70 minutes. Remove ramekins from baking dish; place on a wire rack and let cool. Chill custards, uncovered, at least 3 hours.

Top custards with whipped cream and sprinkle with sea salt.

Do Ahead: Custards an be made 2 days ahead; cover and keep chilled.

Have any of you had any crazy cooking disasters? Please tell me I’m not the only one!
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