I love a custard/flan dessert. This is one of the best recipes that I have come across. I found this several years ago in my collection from Gourmet during our move. I was so thrilled when I found it, as I had forgotten how good this one was! Cooks' notes: • To make 1 large crème caramel instead of individual ones, bake in a 9-inch glass pie plate in hot water bath 1 to 1 1/4 hours. • Crème caramels can be chilled up to 2 days. Special equipment: 6 (6-oz) ramekins
- Finely grate zest from oranges, then squeeze enough juice to measure 1 cup.
- Pour juice through a fine sieve into a 2-quart heavy saucepan, discarding pulp, and stir in 1 cup sugar.
- Bring to a boil over moderately high heat, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Boil, without stirring but washing down any sugar crystals with a brush dipped in cold water and skimming froth as necessary, until syrup begins to turn golden, about 5 minutes.
- Continue to boil, swirling pan occasionally, until syrup is a deep golden caramel. Immediately divide caramel among ramekins, tilting if necessary to coat bottoms.
- Preheat oven to 325°F and line bottom of a small roasting pan with a folded kitchen towel.
- Bring milk and zest just to a simmer over moderate heat, then remove from heat and let stand, covered, 10 minutes.
- Whisk together whole eggs, yolks, and remaining 3/4 cup sugar in a large bowl, then whisk in warm milk.
- Pour custard through fine sieve into a bowl, pressing on and discarding solids. Divide custard among ramekins and arrange ramekins in roasting pan.
- Carefully add enough hot water to pan to reach halfway up sides of ramekins. Bake in middle of oven until custard is just set (but still trembles slightly in center), 50 minutes to 1 hour.
- Run a thin knife around side of each ramekin to loosen, then transfer ramekins to a rack and cool. Chill, loosely covered, at least 2 hours.
- To unmold, invert plates over ramekins and invert custards onto plates.
We did a 2 serving portion and it filled 4 heart shaped silicon molds. Made as directed but used 2% milk, and left the zest in for added flavor. We don't recommend using silicone molds as we had a little trouble getting the orange glaze out of the bottom of the molds, we had to use a butter knife to get to it while still warm, but once we put the glaze back onto the custard it melted right over it. We did not calculate this 'chef error' in our rating. The only thing we would change is to use less sugar in the custard as it was very sweet. Overall a beautiful dessert with a great orange flavor.
These were really sweet and creamy with just a hint of orange flavor. I made half of the recipe and used non-fat half & half with great success. When cooking the "caramel" after it boiled for 5 minutes I needed to boil it an additional 5 minutes during step 4. Watch it very carefully at this point as it will change from clear to deep golden very quickly. This makes a dessert special enough for company and it is nice that it can be made in advanced.