Im sure that the last time I made this beautiful baked custard I was nine years younger. Why did I wait so long?
While watching another wonderful episode of “The Great British Bake Off” the technical bake was Merry Berry’s very own Creme Caramel put to the test by the unsuspecting home bakers. Im sure they only had about two hours to complete this bake which can be achieved but realistically to achieve the best result and following Merry’s recipe as she has suggested leaving the Creme Caramel to set and cool completely overnight…..a far cry from the two hour limit given to the stressed contestants but then these are the perils of reality TV!
Lets do this step by step.
Classic crème caramel
Mary Berry’s simple step-by-step guide to the perfect crème caramel.
Equipment and preparation:
you will need 6 x size 1 (150ml/¼ pint) ramekins.
Ingredients: For the caramel
6 Tablespoons Water
unsalted butter, for greasing the ramekins
For the custard
4 free-range eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
25g/1oz caster sugar
600ml/1 pint full-fat milk
pouring cream, to serve
Pre-heat oven 150C/300F/Gas 2. Warm the ramekins in the oven, so they are warm when the caramel is poured in.
First make the caramel.
Pour the sugar and six tablespoons of water into a clean stainless steel pan.
Dissolve the sugar slowly, stirring with a wooden spoon over a low heat.
When there are no sugar granules left, stop stirring and boil until the sugar turns a dark copper colour.
Remove immediately from the heat to ensure the caramel does not burn. Quickly pour the caramel into the warmed ramekins.
Set aside to cool and become hard. (Do not put in the fridge because the sugar will absorb moisture and go soft and tacky).
Once hard, butter the sides of the ramekins above the level of the caramel.
For the custard, whisk the eggs, vanilla extract and caster sugar together in a bowl until well mixed.
Pour the milk into a saucepan, gently heat over a low heat until you can still just dip your finger in for a moment, then strain the milk through a fine sieve onto the egg mixture in the bowl.
Whisk together until smooth, then pour the mixture into the prepared ramekins.
Stand the ramekins in a roasting tin and fill the tin half-way with boiling water from a kettle.
Cook in the oven for about 20-30 minutes or until the custard has set. Do not overcook the custard – check around the edges of the dishes, to make sure no bubbles are appearing.
Take the crème caramels out of the oven, remove the ramekins from the tray and set on a cooling rack. When cool, transfer to the fridge overnight so that the caramel is absorbed into the custard.
To serve, loosen the sides of the custard by tipping the ramekin and loosen with a small palette knife round the edges. Place a serving dish on top of the ramekin and turn upside down.
Well I have to say that Mary’s recipe is a winner, and I have even added it to my list of favourites and Im sure it’s not going to be another nine years before I make it again. The custard is just velvety smooth and not to sweet but the caramel makes up for it and I love that!