These individual caramel desserts are a rich and creamy egg custard with caramel sauce.

What is Caramel Custard?

Caramel Custard is very similar to CrΓ¨me Brulee. Both are topped with caramel, but this version has a soft caramel that melts and surround the custard. Many restaurants in the United States also refer to this dessert as Flan, but it has many different names around the world.

What you will need:

  • 4 whole milk – the fat content helps the custard hold it’s shape, and gives it it’s creaminess.
  • 1 vanilla bean pod
  • large eggs
  • 0.5 granulated sugar – for the custard and to make the caramel.
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract for even more vanilla infused flavor.
  • six ramekins or custard cups and a baking pan.
  • cups of granulated sugar

How do you make Caramel Custard?

Place six ramekins in a pan full of hot water.

To make the caramel:

  • Pour sugar into a large saucepan. Shake to spread evenly, and heat slowly without stirring. Tilt the pan back and forth until the sugar melts.
  • Remove the ramekins from the water and dry thoroughly. (they will still be warm). When the sugar turns a rich golden color, pour the mixture into the ramekins and tilt to spread evenly until the bottom is coated. Set aside.

To make the Custard:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Pour milk into a saucepan, and add the vanilla bean. Heat milk to just below the boiling point. The liquid will start to move and swell, and form tiny bubbles around the edge of the pan.
  • Pour into a large bowl and set aside to cool.
  • Beat eggs in a large bowl. Gradually beat in the sugar.
  • Remove the vanilla bean from the milk, and add the vanilla extract. Gradually mix into the eggs.
  • Strain the mixture into a bowl (I used the original milk bowl).
  • Ladle mixture into caramel lined ramekins and place into a large roasting pan.
  • Pour boiling water into the roasting pan until it reaches halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Place pan in the oven and bake for 40 minutes. The custards are done when a slender knife blade comes out clean when inserted into the center.
  • Lift the ramekins out of the roasting pan, and set aside to cool. Chill in the refrigerator for several hours before serving.
  • To serve, run a knife around the outside edge of the custard.
  • Place on a serving plate, and flip over. You may need to shake the ramekin, or tap the bottom to brake the seal. Caramel will puddle around the base of the Custard.

Recipe Notes & Tips

  • The trickiest part of this dessert, is making the caramel. It can go from β€œwhy won’t you melt” to β€œoops, it’s burnt” in the blink of an eye. You need to keep your eyes on it!
  • I use a turkey baster to suck up the hot water before removing the cooked custards from the baking dish.
  • For dairy-free: Substitute 1) 14 ounce can of full-fat coconut milk and 2+ cups of boxed, refrigerated coconut milk to equal 4 cups total. All other instructions remain the same.Β