Whether you call it Crème Caramel, Flan or Caramela - this recipe is an extremely popular dessert that is actually traced back to ancient Rome. The Spaniards brought it to the America's where it became a delicacy. The Mexican Culture had a strong influence in making it a common dessert found in many restaurants. Now you can duplicate it at home very easily with this recipe. This is a lighter more creamy version then found in some restaurants - but so good!
1 1/2 cups of Sugar - for the bottom
1 quart - of half and half and whole milk mixture (I typically make it with all 1/2 and 1/2)
1 cup of sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons of Vanilla
Heat your oven to 350 degrees. Take the 1 1/2 cups of sugar and place it in a pan on stove top. Our small copper pot works so well with sugar melting. Use low heat and let the sugar melt to a liquid on stovetop. (if you have never melted sugar before know that first it gets hard, but then as it heats up it liquifies). Once melted pour the liquid into the bottom of a casserole baking dish. Let harden while you prepare the crème.
In a separate pan on stovetop scald your milk mixture - or straight 1/2 and 1/2 whichever you use. To scald milk properly heat the saucepan over medium heat, stirring frequently. The milk is scalded when small bubbles appear around the outside of the saucepan, or the temperature registers 180 to 185 degrees F.
In a bowl while your milk is scalding - with a hand beater or mix master beat the 7 eggs, 1 cup of sugar and 1 1/2 teaspoons of the vanilla. Take a small amount of the scalded milk and slowly add it to the egg mixture stirring constantly. Then add in the rest of the scalded milk and stir together.
Slowly pour your liquid mixture into the casserole dish with the sugar on the bottom. The sugar will have firmed up - then you know its good to pour your liquid in.
Place your casserole dish in a larger baking tray with a water bath. Bake at 350 until it is set - which takes about 1 1/2 hours. Some ovens may be less. It will be set on top. When finished cooking remove the casserole from the water bath and then refrigerate. I like to make it the night before if possible. When chilled, invert the casserole dish onto a much larger serving dish - as the sugar will spill all over onto the dessert and the bottom of the dish.
Enjoy! Every time we make this dessert it does not last long....
We started making variations of this recipe by using our Bacanha organic syrups in place of the vanilla.....they are so perfect in baking. Look for them under sweet spot on our website.