Caramel-Lavender Pots De Creme Caramel-Lavender Pots De Creme

Caramel-Lavender Pots De Creme

Similar to a creme brulee, pots de creme are best when infused with a bit of flavor, such as lemon or chocolate. Using lavender here gives a delicate spiciness that is balanced by the caramel.

Nicole Spiridakis for NPR
Caramel-Lavender Pots De Creme
Nicole Spiridakis for NPR

Makes 6 servings

1 1/2 cups heavy cream

1 1/2 cups whole milk

3 tablespoons dried lavender flowers

1 cup sugar

1/3 cup plus 1/4 cup water

8 large egg yolks

Pour the cream and milk into a small saucepan, add the lavender flowers and heat gently for 2 to 3 minutes, but do not boil. Remove from the heat and allow to infuse for 30 minutes.

Place the sugar and 1/3 cup water in a heavy saucepan over medium-high heat. Cover and bring to a boil. Uncover and cook until the sugar turns golden amber in color and thick, 8 to 12 minutes, without stirring (it will be very hot).

Take the lavender out of the cream with a slotted spoon and then reheat the cream, bringing it almost to a boil.

Preheat an oven to 325 degrees. Have two quarts of boiling water ready.

When the caramel is ready, add the remaining 1/4 cup water and whisk vigorously until the bubbles subside. Pour the caramel into the hot cream mixture and whisk together until mixed. Let cool for about 10 minutes.

In a bowl, whisk together the egg yolks. Slowly add the caramel mixture to the egg yolks, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon until mixed. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a pitcher.

Pour the custard into six 2/3-cup ramekins. Place the ramekins in a baking pan. Pour boiling water into the pan to reach about 1 inch up the sides of the ramekins. Bake until the edges of the custards are set, 40 to 50 minutes. Remove the baking pan from the oven and transfer to a rack to cool for 10 minutes.

Remove the custards from the water bath and let cool. Refrigerate for several hours or overnight until well chilled. Serve chilled or at room temperature.