Thursday, July 27, 2017


Years ago, my mother made old fashioned vanilla custard. Later, I discovered Flan (Spanish) or Crème Caramel (French). It's my go-to recipe for dessert. Everyone has milk, sugar, and eggs on hand and it's so easy to make.

½ cup granulated sugar
½ t fresh lemon juice
3 T water

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

Place 6 heavy coffee cups (I use diner cups, not mugs) or custard cups in a roasting pan.  
Spread sugar in a medium size cast-iron skillet.
Add the lemon juice and water and bring to a boil.
Cook until an amber-colored caramel forms.
Remove from heat and pour the caramel into the coffee cups.

3 cups whole milk
½ cup granulated sugar
4 large eggs
1 t pure vanilla extract

Pour milk into a heavy saucepan. Bring to a boil, watching carefully so it does not boil over. Remove from heat. 

In a large bowl, whisk together sugar and eggs.  
Use a metal measuring cup, pour in a half cup of hot milk, while constantly whisking to temper the eggs. 
Slowly whisk in the rest of the hot milk, then whisk in vanilla.  
Strain through a mesh strainer into a large heatproof pitcher.  
Place a kettle of water on the stove to boil.
Pour custard into cups. 
Place roasting pan with cups on middle rack in the oven and then pour enough hot water to reach halfway up sides of cups.

Bake for 50 minutes.

Remove cups from hot water and cool to room temperature.  
Cover and chill until cold, at least 4 hours.  
Place bottom of cups, one at a time, in hot water for 30 seconds to help with unmolding.
Run a table knife around the edges of the cups.
Place a dessert plate on top and carefully flip over.
Let cups sit a minute and then gently tilt cups to let custard unmold.

Serves 6