Crème Caramel is a lovely dessert. A set, but wobbly, custard with sweet caramel too. The dessert is cooked in a ramekin. The caramel actually lines the bottom of the ramekin and the thin custard mixture is poured onto it. Then the ramekin is placed in a water bath and cooked.
For this recipe I am detailing two different ways to cook the desserts. One way is in the oven, with the ramekins standing in hot water. The second way is in the Instant Pot, cooked under pressure and then allowed to naturally release the pressure.
Each method works well. However I prefer the Instant Pot method, simply because it is cheaper to do that. The total time for cooking and release in the Instant Pot is only about 20 to 25 minutes and about 10 of those are not actually cooking but releasing pressure. Whereas to cook in the oven you have to first preheat it. That takes about 15 minutes. Then the cooking takes about. 30 minutes.
So, in terms of time and cost the Instant Pot is a good way to do it. However not everybody has one of those, or even just a stove top pressure cooker which would work well, so the oven it a good alternative. It is also the more common way of doing it.
The recipe is very simple. Firstly you have to make a caramel using sugar and a little water. That is poured into ramekins and then set aside. Then it is time to make a custard mixture with hot milk, sugar, vanilla, salt and eggs. The custard isn’t cooked at this stage. Rather it is poured onto the caramel and then the ramekins are placed in either the Instant Pot or in the oven in a pan of hot water. Then the crème caramel is cooked until set but still a little wobbly in the centre. It is left to cool and then it is placed in the fridge to chill.
Once chilled the crème caramel is turned out onto a plate for serving.
My Crème Caramel
Both methods worked well. I cooked the Instant Pot ones for 9 minutes and let the pressure release naturally. The ones in the oven cooked well, taking 30 minutes. Both versions had a slight wobble to them after cooking.
I let them cool and then chilled them. Then I ran a knife around the edge and I placed an upturned plate on the top and turned them out. I did have to shake them and give them some encouragement to release, but they did come out onto the plates.
They did retain a wobble too, though maybe a slightly shorter time in the oven would have worked even better. I think the important thing is to check the wobble, rather than a specific time for cooking. So in future I will check regularly from 25 minutes and take them out of the oven as soon as i think the wobble is right, as they will set firmer as they cool.
Mine tasted very good too. The silky smooth custard and the sweet caramel were the perfect match. The colour of the caramel is a matter of personal preference, though the darker it is the stronger the flavour. Though if it is too dark it is likely to be somewhat bitter.
Another very easy dessert is: Lemon Posset.
Crème Caramel – Two WaysCourse: DessertsDifficulty: Medium
250ml(1 cup + 2tsp) milk
250ml(1 cup+2tsp) double cream
3 medium eggs(large in USA) beaten
10ml(2 tsp) vanilla extract
50g(1/4) caster sugar
pinch of salt
150g(3/4 cup) caster sugar
45ml(3 tbsp) water
- Butter the insides of 4 or 5 ramekins.
- Preheat the oven to 150C/300F.
- Place the sugar and water for the caramel into a saucepan an stir to mix together.
- Heat the pan until the mixture starts to boil. Do not stir at all from this point forward.
- As the mixture boils you can gently shake the pan. Continue to boil until the water has almost evaporated the the sugar has started to thicken and change to a caramel colour.
- Once the caramel is the colour you prefer take the pan off the heat and pour into the prepared ramekins.
- Cover the ramekins with aluminium foil.
- For Instant Pot method place the trivet into the bottom and add 250ml of water.
- Place 3 or 4 ramekins onto the trivet.
- Close the Instant pot and close the vent.
- Pressure cook on High for 9 minutes and then allow a natural release.
- For the oven method place the ramekins into a roasting pan and pour in boiling water, until no more than half way up the sides of the ramekins.
- Place the roasting pan into the oven and cook for 15 minutes, then remove the aluminium foil and cook for a further 10 to 15 minutes, until the custard is set but stilly wobbly in the centre.
- Remove the roasting pan from the oven and transfer the ramekins to a cooling rack and leave until fully cooled.
- Do the same with the ramekins in the Instant Pot.
- When the creme caramels have cooled place them, covered, in the fridge for at least 4 hours.
- To serve run a knife around the edge and place an upturned plate on the top. Then turn it over and shake to loosen the creme caramel so that it comes out onto the plate.