December 12, 2010

Caramel Custard

Caramel custard is the favourite dessert in our home. I have made it for my children on many occasions. We have enjoyed it warm, on cold winter days and cold, on warm summer days. It is yummy in both ways. It is interesting that this dessert is a part of so many cultures all over the world, just the names are different - Crème caramel, Crème brûlée and Flan. Their recipes vary slightly, each culture adding their own uniqueness to it. It is an easy dessert that is just delicious. For a little twist, one can add a tbsp of rum or any liqueur or a pinch of powdered nutmeg to the custard.

Eggs - 3
Whole Milk - 3 cups
Sugar - 4 tbsp
Vanilla Essence - 1/2 tsp
For Caramel
Unsalted butter - 1/4 tsp
Sugar - 5 tbsp
Water - 2 tsp

To make a caramel syrup, take a thick bottomed pan. Brush a little butter on the bottom and the sides so that the sugar does not stick. Add the sugar and heat on a medium to high flame and let it boil. Don't stir the contents. As the sugar caramelizes, swirl the pan a bit once or twice. When all sugar has melted and the color is light golden brown, remove the pan from the stove and very carefully, add 2 tsps of water. It will splutter, so be careful. Stir the contents well to dissolve the caramel to form a syrup. Apply a little butter in a pudding dish and pour the caramel onto the bottom of the dish.

Beat the eggs with the sugar in a bowl. Add milk and vanilla essence and beat again. Pour this custard into the pudding dish carefully, making sure that the caramel does not mix into it. Steam the pudding in a pressure cooker (without the whistle) for about 20 minutes. Remove and allow it to cool to room temperature. Refrigerate for best results.

Before serving, loosen the sides of the pudding and gently turn upside down onto a serving plate. Enjoy!!

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