Classic crème caramel

8
8
8
SmartPoints® value per serving
Total Time
1 hr 10 min
Prep
15 min
Cook
55 min
Serves
4
Difficulty
Moderate
Treat yourself to this dessert any time of the year! Since you can make it day in advance, it’s an ideal do-ahead dessert for a small dinner party. Make it the night before to take some of the pressure off on the day of the gathering. Branch out beyond this classic vanilla rendition. Get adventurous and give it a citrus or coffee spin by adding some orange zest or instant espresso powder to the half-and-half after it's come to a boil. Or you could sprinkle the finished dessert with some gourmet salt, like fleur de sel, for a salted-caramel twist.

Ingredients

Sugar

cup(s)

Sugar

3 Tbsp

Water

3 Tbsp

Fat-free half-and-half

1 cup(s)

Regular liquid egg substitute

½ cup(s)

Vanilla extract

¼ tsp

Table salt

tsp

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F.
  2. Combine 1⁄3 cup of the sugar and the water in a heavy medium saucepan and set over medium heat. Cook, stirring, until the sugar is dissolved. Increase the heat to high. Boil, without stirring, brushing down the side of the pan with a pastry brush dipped in cool water and swirling the pan to even out the color, until the caramel is dark amber, about 8 minutes. Immediately pour the caramel into four 5-ounce ramekins or 6-ounce custard cups, dividing it evenly and tilting the ramekins to evenly coat the bottoms and about halfway up the sides. Set aside until the caramel is cool and hard.
  3. Meanwhile, bring the half-and-half just to a boil in a medium saucepan set over medium heat. Whisk together the egg substitute, the remaining 3 tablespoons of sugar, the vanilla, and salt in a medium bowl. Whisk 1⁄2 cup of the hot half-and-half into the egg mixture, then return the mixture to the saucepan and set over medium-low heat. Cook, stirring, until thickened and smooth, about 2 minutes. Immediately pour the custard through a fine-mesh sieve set over a medium bowl.
  4. Divide the custard evenly among the ramekins and place in a 9-inch square baking pan. Put the pan in the oven and add enough boiling water to the pan to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Bake until the custards are just set around the edges and still jiggle in the center, 35 – 40 minutes.
  5. Carefully transfer the ramekins to a rack and let cool, then refrigerate, covered, until thoroughly chilled and set, at least 4 hours or up to 1 day. Run a thin knife around the edges of the ramekins to loosen the custards. Unmold onto rimmed plates or dessert dishes to catch all the custard sauce. Yields 1 custard per serving.