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Baked Caramel Custard (Creme Caramel)

ingredients

6 servings
125 g (4 oz) 1/2 cup Sugar
65 ml (2 1/2 fl oz) 1/3 cup Water

for the creme

600 ml (1 pint) 2 1/2 cups Milk
90 g (3 1/2 oz) Scant 1/2 cup Sugar
2 Eggs
2 Egg yolks
1 tsp Vanilla essence (extract)

method

1. Dissolve the sugar in the water over low heat, stirring constantly until it has dissolved. Increase the heat to moderately high and bring to the boil. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes, without stirring, or until it turns a light nut-brown colour. (Be careful not to overcook or the syrup will darken too much and become bitter.) Pour into individual ramekin dishes or a heatproof dish. Dissolve the milk and sugar together, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat. Beat the eggs and egg yolks together in a bowl until they thicken and become pale yellow. Stir in the milk and vanilla.

2. Preheat the oven to warm 170°C (Gas Mar, 3, 325 °F).

3. Strain the mixture into the ramekins or dish, spooning off any froth which appears on the surface. Put the dishes or dish into a roasting pan and add enough boiling water to come halfway up the sides.

4. Put the pan into the oven and bake the creme for 40 minutes, or until the centres are firm when pressed with your fingertip. Do not allow the water to boil during baking or the custard will have a grainy texture. (If it does-begin to boil, reduce the temperature.)

5. Remove the dishes or dish from the water and set aside to cool completely. Chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour.

6. Run a knife around the edge of the ramekins or dish and invert on to serving plates. Serve at once.

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