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Before starting this Crème Caramel recipe, make sure you have organised all the necessary ingredients.
Pour the milk in a stainless-steel saucepan.
Cut the vanilla pod in half lengthwise.
Scrape the seeds out with the tip of a knife...
... and combine the seeds and pod with the milk. Bring to a gentle boil.
In the meantime, pour the sugar in a small saucepan to make the caramel. Add 5cl of water, just enough to humidify the sugar.
Bring to a boil, then cook on very low heat...
... until you obtain a nice brown caramel.
While the caramel is slowly browning, place the ramekins in a deep-sided baking dish.
Pour the caramel at the bottom of the ramekins.
Coat the bottom of each ramekin while the caramel is still liquid.
Let it set.
In a flat bottom pastry bowl, crack the whole eggs.
Sprinkle the caster sugar...
... and blanch the eggs with the sugar by beating vigorously for a few minutes.
When the milk comes to a boil, turn off the heat to prevent it from boiling over.
Pour the boiling milk at once over the blanched eggs. Combine with a hand whisk.
Strain the preparation through a chinois.
Remove the foam forming at the surface, using a skimmer.
Pour the hot mixture...
... into the caramel-coated ramekins.
Pour hot water into the baking dish so that the ramekins are immersed up to 1/2 or 3/4 deep in the bain-marie.
Preheat the oven to 180°C (gas 4).
Then bake for about 25-30 minutes, depending on the oven. Ensure the central part of the custard is no longer be liquid when tapping the ramekin. At this stage, remove from the dish from the oven and let cool the ramekins in the bain-marie.
One by one, remove the ramekins from the bain-marie...
... and reserve in the fridge until ready to serve.
Before serving, slide a thin knife around the edges for an easier release of the custard.
Place a serving dish or dessert plate on top of the ramekin, and flip upside down quickly.
Tap the ramekin to help the custard to come off easily. Gently remove the ramekin...
... in a vertical motion. Make sure you do not remove the crème caramel from the mould while it is still hot, as it might collapse in the process. If you wish, you can also serve the crème caramel directly in the ramekin.
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