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.
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.
Serve as you would a cake.
Makes 8 to 10 servings.