Food & Dining

Cre`me caramel recipe sure to please sweet tooth

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Crème Caramel

On Sept. 19, The Newnan Times-Herald featured a story about Auburn University history professor Dr. Donna Bohanan. Bohanan presented her wealth of knowledge on 17th century French cuisine, along with her favorite recipes, during a cooking lecture held at the Carnegie Library.

Bohanan has been kind enough to pass along her favorite French recipe, crème caramel.

She says of the delicious treat, “This is my recipe for crème caramel. I’ve taken it from Patricia Wells, ‘Bistro Cooking.’ I like this recipe because it involves fewer steps, and it always turns out correctly. The great thing about this dessert is that you can make it a day (or two) in advance, and people love it. Plus, it presents so well.”

Ingredients

For the caramel:

• 1 ¼ cups sugar For the custard:

• 2 vanilla beans

(sometimes I substitute a teaspoon of vanilla)

• 3 cups whole milk

• ¾ cups sugar

• 3 large whole eggs

• 6 large egg yolks 

 1. Prepare the caramel: Combine the sugar and ¼ cup water in a heavy saucepan. Place over high heat and stir until the sugar dissolves. Bring the syrup to a full boil. Cook without stirring until the syrup caramelizes to a medium dark amber color, about 4 minutes (it sometimes takes a bit longer).

Immediately divide the caramel among eight, 1-cup custard cups or ramekins, working quickly so the caramel does not solidify and swirling the cups to evenly coat the bottoms. Set aside.

2. Preheat oven to 325

3. Prepare the custard: cut the vanilla beans in half lengthwise, and use a small spoon to scrape out the black seeds. Combine the vanilla seeds, vanilla bean pods, and milk in a heavy saucepan. Bring to boil over high heat. Remove from heat, cover, and set aside to steep for 15 minutes. Remove vanilla pods.

4. In large mixing bowl, combine sugar, eggs and egg yolks. Gradually whisk in the hot milk. Be careful to add a bit at a time so the eggs don’t curdle. Pour the mixture into the caramel-lined cups.

5. Place the cups in a roasting pan and add enough boiling water to come halfway up the the side of the pan. Bake until custards are just set in the center but still trembling, 50-60 minutes. Remove from water bath and let set to cool.

6. At this point, I cover them with foil and put them in the refrigerator (the great thing is that you can make them a day ahead).

7. To serve, run a knife around the edge of each, cover with a small plate, and flip to unmold the custard (you may have to shake it a bit to get the custard to come out of the ramekin). Serve immediately.



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