Recipe: Salted Caramel Pots De Creme From the Kitchen Window column

Salted Caramel Pots De Creme

These little custards are plushy and smooth, winding flavors of deep caramelized sugar across your tongue — rich, but not overly so. You probably also have most of the ingredients in your fridge right now for a quick pick-me-up dessert. Save the egg white to make meringue cookies, another flourless treat.

Nicole Spiridakis for NPR
Salted Caramel Pots De Creme
Nicole Spiridakis for NPR

Makes 6 servings

1 cup sugar

1/3 cup plus 1/4 cup water

1 1/2 cups heavy cream

1 1/2 cups milk

8 large egg yolks

1 teaspoon coarse salt

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Have a pot of boiling water ready.

Place the sugar and the 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, 8 to 12 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine the cream and milk in a large saucepan over medium-high heat and warm until small bubbles appear along the edges of the pan. Remove from heat.

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 bowl.

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. Sprinkle the salt across the top of the custards. Refrigerate for several hours or overnight until well chilled. Serve chilled.