My childhood memories are full of caramel custard as this was a dessert amma used to make very often. It was easy enough to rustle up and special enough to make an entry when we had guests. Also caramel custard is very well liked, and is naturally a good choice when you need to make dessert for guests. This can be made ahead and refrigerated and so eases labour on the actual day of entertaining.
This is one of the easiest desserts to make and is a good way to use up extra milk and leftover bread. Around the time that I was trying to use up the frozen milk that had piled up in the fridge, caramel custard was one of the things I made. When I was browsing online I found many recipes that bake the custard in a water bath in the oven. Amma usually used to steam cook this in the pressure cooker, without the whistle (which is also the way I used to make it). This time I decided to oven bake. I was quite pleased with the results.
I made this with eggs, since they were going to be cooked anyways J. I want to try an eggless version soon.
Sending this out to a foodie event after what seems like years!! off to valli’s Thanda Mela
Caramel Custard (serves 2-3)
3 cups of milk (I used 3%)
2 slices bread, torn into bite sized bits, stale is good
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1-2 eggs (I used one, feel free to add two)
8 tablespoons sugar, 6 for the caramel, 2 for the custard
A large pinch of cinnamon powder (optional but very good)
Take a shallow metal baking dish that will hold about 500 mls. Add the 6 tablespoons of sugar to it, heat on a low flame, holding it up with a pair of tongs, till the sugar is caramelized. Tilt it around to spread the caramel evenly around the base of the vessel. Take off the heat and set aside to cool and set.
In a saucepan, heat the milk, add the sugar (2 tablespoons) and mix well to dissolve. When lukewarm, add the vanilla, cinnamon, eggs and whisk well till well blended. Add the bread and mix again. Leave f9or about 5 minutes to settle and for the bread to absorb the liquid. Pour this mixture into the pan with the caramel . Preheat the oven to 180 C. Pour about an inch of water in a baking sheet, place the dish with the custard mixture in this vessel and bake about 20 minutes, till set and slightly browning on top. Remove from the oven, cool and refrigerate atleast 4 hrs or overnight. To serve, run a knife around the edges of the pan, place a plate, face down on the pan, upturn and gently tap to release onto a plate. Serve cold.