Author: Terry Laybourne
- 100g granulated sugar
- 1 tbsp water
- 2 drops lemon juice
- 500ml milk
- ½ vanilla pod, split (or a drop of natural vanilla essence)
- 100g caster sugar
- 2 eggs
- 4 egg yolks
- Preheat the oven to 150C/Gas 2.
- Make a caramel in a small saucepan by heating the granulated sugar, water and lemon juice until the mixture is dark brown in colour and gives off a nutty, caramel aroma (about 8-10 mins).
- Pour immediately into the bases of dariole moulds or individual ramekins.
- Heat the milk with the vanilla pod and half the caster sugar.
- Mix eggs, yolks and remaining caster sugar with a whisk.
- When milk is boiling, pour over the egg mixture, stirring constantly.
- Strain through a fine sieve into a jug.
- Pour the mixture carefully from the jug into the moulds filling right to the top.
- Line the base of a small roasting dish with three or four layers of newspaper and cut a large cross through the centre of the paper with a sharp knife.
- Carefully lift the tray into the centre of the oven, then pour boiling water, straight from the kettle, around the moulds until about 2.5cm deep.
- Cook for around 20-25 mins (to be sure the cream is cooked, insert a small knife, if the blade comes out clean, the custard is cooked).
- Remove from the oven and lift from the water bath.
- Leave to cool, then refrigerate for 24 hours before serving.
- Turn out onto dessert plates and serve unadorned.