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Crème Caramel - Île-de-France

Crème Caramel - Île-de-France

Photo: "Original Vanilla Crème Caramel" by L.A. Foodie, licensed under CC BY 2.0
Article by Emily Saurack

This article was written by our intern, Emily Saurack. Emily is a rising High School senior with a penchant for food, French, and photography. With inspiration from her extensive collection of cookbooks, Emily has been baking for her large family holiday gatherings and for charity events benefiting The Sharing Shelf. Emily founded a baking kit company called MixItReal, where she demonstrates healthy recipes for which she sells and delivers pre-packaged ingredients. Emily recently apprenticed at Estelle Gourmet, where she assisted with teaching French cooking classes. She has DELF level B1 certification and is working toward level B2 and hopes to one day study in France where, with her camera by her side, she could explore French cuisine and culture.

Although its original name is French, it is unknown who the true creators of this delicious custard and caramel dessert are. Its many other names include flan, crema caramella, crème renversée, and caramel pudding. The Spanish, English, and French all claim to have originated this dessert, each with slightly different recipes. The Flan version—made in Spain—can vary slightly, often having a sponge cake base or savory filling.

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes, plus chill for 4 hours
Yield: 4 ramekins

Ingredients:

For the Base:

  • 1 cup whole milk
  • ½ cup heavy whipping cream
  • ⅓ cup granulated sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • ⅛ vanilla bean (seeds) or ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • ⅓ cup granulated sugar

For The Caramel:

  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup water

Directions:

  • Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Place 4 ramekins into a deep pan.
  • Fill a tea kettle with water and place on the stove to boil.
  • While waiting for the water, in a large bowl mix together the eggs, egg yolks, vanilla, and sugar.
  • In a saucepan, over medium-high heat, bring the milk, heavy cream, and salt to a simmer, stirring every so often.
  • Now, while mixing the egg mixture, gradually mix in the milk mixture until fully combined.
  • Using a sieve, strain the mixture to get out any clumps.
  • For the caramel, take a large saucepan and place the sugar and water inside. Then place the saucepan on the stovetop over medium heat, and let it sit (without stirring) until the sugar is dissolved and resembles an amber color. Once it is this color, begin stirring. It will be finished once the color is dark brown. 
  • Once the sauce is done, remove it from the stovetop and immediately distribute it among the ramekins. 
  • Give the batter a whisk before pouring it into the ramekins.
  • Once the caramel at the bottom of the ramekins has hardened, pour the batter evenly among the 4 dishes.
  • Place the large pan into your oven's middle rack, and pour the boiling water into the pan until it reaches the middle of the ramekins.
  • Bake for about 35 minutes, or until the centers are jiggly.
  • Once fully cooked, take the ramekins out of the pan and place them on a wire rack to cool.
  • Once cooled, cover each with plastic wrap and refrigerate them for 4 hours.
  • To remove your Crème Caramel from the dish, run a knife through the edges, then flip it over onto a plate.

Bon appétit!