Just a few cheap ingredients are needed to make this classic French dessert. Served with fresh fruit it’s an impressive finale to a special meal.
Ready in 1 hour 10 minutes, plus overnight chilling
150g granulated sugar
4 medium eggs, plus 2 medium egg yolks
100g caster sugar
600ml whole milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
Orange slices, grapes and raspberries, to serve
1 To make the caramel, place the granulated sugar in a medium heavy-based pan with 3 tbsp cold water. Heat gently, stirring, until the sugar has dissolved in the water to form a clear syrup. Increase the heat and bring the syrup to the boil, without stirring, until it turns a deep golden caramel colour. Swirl the pan occasionally to prevent hotspots forming and the caramel burning.
2 Remove the pan from the heat and carefully pour the hot caramel into six individual ovenproof dishes (see TIP). Place the dishes in a roasting tin. Preheat the oven to
140C/fan 170C/gas mark 3.
3 Whisk the eggs, yolks and caster sugar together in a large heatproof bowl. Pour the milk into a clean pan and bring to simmering point, then whisk the hot milk into the egg mixture. Stir in the vanilla extract then strain the mixture into a large jug and divide between the dishes.
4 Pour enough boiling water into the roasting tin to come halfway up the sides of the dishes. Bake for 18-22 minutes until just set. Remove from the oven and leave to cool, then remove from the tin, cover and chill for 4 hours or overnight.
5 To serve, run the tip of a knife round the edge of the set custard. Invert each one on to a small plate. Serve decorated with orange slices, grapes and raspberries.
Use small metal pudding basins or ceramic ramekin dishes each with 150ml capacity.