Prep 20 mins
Cook 1.25 hrs (plus cooling, chilling)
This is also known as crème renversée. The recipe makes a large one, which is spectacular when trimmed and bought to the table. And can be cut into portions to suit, you can try also using a ring cutter and cutting out perfect circles from the slab. Some gold leaf on top would take this already quite luxe dessert to a whole new level.
This recipe originally appeared in the French edition of Eatable magazine, on sale here in print and digital.
3 egg yolks 280g caster sugar
Split seeds from 1⁄2 vanilla
250g caster sugar
1. Whisk eggs and yolks in a bowl to combine, then add sugar and whisk until incorporated well. Stir through milk and vanilla seeds (save the pod and add to a jar of sugar to infuse for another use) and refrigerate mixture overnight to rest.
2. For caramel, combine sugar and 60ml water in a clean saucepan over medium heat, and stir to dissolve the sugar. Brush down sides of pan with a wet pastry and cook syrup, without stirring, until dark caramel (about 10 minutes; you want the caramel to be dark, but not burnt. If too light also, you’ll have a sweet-flavoured caramel, rather than bitter-sweet, which is essential to this dish). Working very quickly, dip the base of the saucepan into a bowl of cold water to stop the caramel cooking (be careful of it spitting), then pour caramel into a warm 20cm x 30cm baking dish. Carefully tip the dish so that the caramel covers all sides, then tip out any excess. Be very careful handling this as the caramel will burn. Set dish aside until caramel is set.
3. Preheat oven to 150°C. Place dish into a roasting pan, then pour in egg mixture into dish and place
in the oven. Pour enough hot water into roasting pan to come two-thirds of the way up around sides, then cover loosely with foil, piercing around the edges, so steam escapes. Bake, without touching until custard is set with only a slight wobble in the centre (1 hr 15 mins - 1 hr 25 mins). Carefully remove the dish from the water bath and cool briefly, then cool completely in the fridge (overnight).
4. To serve, invert a platter over the dish and invert the custard to release it from the mould. Keeps
for 2-3 days before turning out in the mould.