Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Creme Caramel (Page 833)

RECIPE #904

  • Date: Tuesday, December 23, 2008 -- 6:30pm
  • Location: Madison, WI
  • Kitchen: My Mom's Apartment
  • Dining Companions: Teri, Terry, Spencer, Ellen, and Matty
  • Recipe Rating: A-

This recipe was on the list generated by the random number generator, so I made it for dessert to go with our family Christmas dinner. Creme caramel is one of those desserts that is fun to make because it is just so cool. I started by cooking sugar in a dry skillet to form caramel, then quickly pouring the caramel into a pie plate, turning to coat the bottom and sides. Then I whisked together eggs, egg yolks, and vanilla, then tempered in a hot mixture of cream, milk, salt, and sugar. I strained the custard and poured it into the pie plate. I then set the pie plate in a roasting pan, poured boiling water in the roasting pan until it reached halfway up the side of the pie plate, and then baked it until the custard was set. I chilled the pie plate of custard for several hours, then inverted it onto a serving dish. The result: perfect! It came out of the pie plate beautifully, and the caramel sauce ran down the sides of the custard and onto the serving dish, just as it should. One of the amazing things about this dish is that when you originally make the caramel and pour it into the pie plate it immediately hardens into a brittle candy. But somehow after its time in the oven and the refrigerator, that caramel becomes a perfectly lovely sauce, which coats the top of the custard beautifully and then runs over onto the serving platter. Magic! The sauce was not the only highlight of this dish. The texture of the custard was just right -- smooth and creamy -- and its mild flavor was complemented nicely by the rich, sweet flavor of the caramel. Creme caramel is a super-simple dessert that always (at least in my experience) seems to come out beautifully. As far as creme caramel goes, this is a great recipe. I had no complaints about it.

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This holiday season I went to I-don't-know-how-many parties. I ate food made by dozens of different people. I spent hours in houses crowded with relatives and friends. I viewed it as a minor miracle that despite all that togetherness, I didn't get sick. But now that I have been home a couple days, away from the crowds and the people coughing and sniffling, I got sick. Go figure. It could certainly be worse -- aside from a terrible cough and deep exhaustion, I feel pretty ok. I slept for eleven hours last night, hoping that would make it go away, but no such luck. So today I spent all morning in bed, all afternoon in the office, and now, this evening, back in bed! On the upside, classes don't start until next week. It is much better to be sick before the semester starts than during the semester. So I will take it easy for a few days -- drink a lot of tea, spend a lot of time in bed, etc... and then hopefully I will be completely recovered by the time I start teaching on Monday! Wish me luck!

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Feel better, Teena!
The hypochondriac anonymous

Teena said...

Thanks! I am _finally_ now feeling a little bit better!