Japanese Purin (crème caramel/ flan)
Prep time: 20 minutes cook time: 40 minutes total time: 1 hour
Makes 4 servings
-1/4 cup sugar
-1 tbsp. water
-1 1/2 cup half and half or whole milk (2% milk also works)
-1/2 cup sugar
-1 vanilla bean or 1 tsp vanilla extract
1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Prepare around 2-3 cups of boiling water.
2. Heat up 1/3 cups of sugar and 1 tbsp. of water in a sauce pan to make the caramel. DO NOT stir, just place on a stove over high heat. Allow it to boil until it turns into a brown amber color. Swirl the pot slowly as needed to even it out. *Be careful not to burn it!
3. Immediately pour the caramel into 4, 7oz ramekins equally. Swirl the ramekins as soon as you pour the caramel to spread evenly as you go. Work quickly, otherwise the caramel will harder. Set the ramekins aside to cool.
4. Into another saucepan, combine milk and 1/2 cup sugar. Stir and place on a stove over medium heat until mixture is steamed (heated, but not boiling). Set aside.
5. Crack eggs into a medium mixing bowl. Cut vanilla bean in half lengthwise and scrape out seeds ( or add vanilla extract) Add to eggs and whisk gently.
6. Slowly add the warm milk mixture into the eggs while whisking. (optional: Strain the custard through a fine strainer to remove clumps)
7. Pour the custard mixture into the prepared ramekins equally (3/4 of the way) and cover with aluminum foil. Place the ramekins in 9x13 inch baking dish and fill (baking dish) with boiling water (it should come about 1/3-1/2 of the way up the ramekins). CAREFULLY place into the preheated oven and bake for 40 minutes.
8. Remove from the oven, and remove ramekins from the baking dish. Let cool for 30 minutes to 1 hour then place in refrigerator for 3 hours or overnight.
9. When you're ready to serve, place a ramekin in a shallow dish of boiling water (to melt the caramel and help the flan be removed easier). Run a butter knife or any thin knife carefully around the edges and invert on a large rimmed serving plate. Enjoy!!