Creme Caramel

Custards that used eggs to thicken them first became popular in Italy. Crema Caramella was what the Italians called a custard with a caramel topping. The French, who’s culinary talents were greatly influenced by the Italians, called this custard dessert Creme Caramel. Creme Caramel then became popular in Spain and Portugal and has trickled down into other Hispanic cultures over the years. The Spanish Creme Caramel is known as Flan, though Flan was originally a Roman dish that was basically a pie filled with savory ingredients. Here is a basic Creme Caramel recipe, but you may call it what you like.




1/2 c. sugar for caramel


5 whole eggs

1/2 c. sugar

2 cups whole milk

3/4 tsp. vanilla extract



Slowly melt sugar over low to medium heat in a heavy bottomed saucepan. If you melt the sugar too quickly it will crystallize and be difficult to caramelize without scorching.

When the sugar is melted and has turned a golden brown color, pour into the bottom of an 8″ round casserole dish or individual ovenproof ramekins.

Be very carful when working with caremelized sugar. If it touches your skin it will stick and burn and burn and burn. I don’t even let anyone else in the kitchen when I am working with it for fear that someone will come plowing into me and one or both of us will get covered in molten, sticky sugary goo. And whatever you do, DON’T lick the spoon, no matter how tempting it may look. You will never taste anything again as long as you live.


Heat oven to 325 degrees.

Beat together all custard ingredients very thoroughly so that the eggs are incorporated into the milk.

Pour the custard over the caramel in the bottom of the dish.

Heat tap water to its hottest level.  Place a deep roasting pan on the center rack of the oven.  Place the prepared custard in the casserole in the center of the roasting pan and fill the roasting pan with the hot water until the level reaches the midway point of the custard in the casserole dish to make a water bath. Bake for one hour or until the center is firm and no longer sloshy or liquid.

Chill overnight.

To unmold, run a knife around the edge of the custard, pressing the blade against the dish.

Place a serving platter, or dessert plate if using ramekins, over the top of the casserole and quickly invert.

Remove casserole.


Serve as you would a cake.

Makes 8 to 10 servings.



  1. LaRessie February 8, 2011 at 11:12 pm

    YUM!!!! you got some good shots!!! This looks divine!! I want some right now. I don’t want to wait overnight though!!!!

  2. edibletapestry February 9, 2011 at 12:06 am

    Thanks!! I’m working on it. Yes, I forgot when I made it that we had to wait overnight. lol It was the same day as the Mountain Berry Galette, though, so good thing!


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