This dessert is a cross between a crème caramel and a baked cheesecake, with a slightly denser texture than a crème caramel while retaining the divine, slightly bitter liquid caramel element.
This is my adapation of a recipe recounted to me by my dear friend, Ann – one of the best cooks I know.
This dessert is not the wobbly, silky custard you associate with crème caramel: it has much more body to it and is slightly fudgy in texture, like a baked cheesecake. The caramel – which is become liquid when you come to eat it – adds a hint of bitterness which works so well with the custard.
I sometimes like to serve these in the pots, topped with some fresh berries: as you work your way down to the bottom, you get to the lovely caramel. However, you can turn them out if you prefer (as in the photos): just run a sharp knife around the edge first and then finish with some berries or thin strips of lemon zest……
Rather than using cream, the key ingredients here are evaporated milk and condensed milk which together add a lovely depth of flavour.
Possibly best of all, the caramel can be made in the oven with no risk of crystallisation…..
Caramel in the oven?
I usually make caramel in the oven as it is fool-proof and requires little attention. You simply place greaseproof onto a baking tray, sprinkle over caster sugar and bake at about 180C for about 30 minutes or until the sugar turns to caramel: you can take it further for a more bitter caramel if you wish.
You then remove the caramel from the oven and leave it to cool, by which time you will have a thin lake of glassy caramel that can be broken into shards – also ideal for decorating desserts and cakes.
Recipe: baked caramel lemon custard – makes 8
- about 120g caster sugar for the caramel
- a tin (about 400g) of evaporated milk
- a tin (about 400g) of sweetened condensed milk
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 3 medium eggs
- 2 egg yolks (you can freeze the whites for meringues or macarons)
- 1 tablespoon cornflour
- finely grated zest of 2 large lemons
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3 tablespoons rum, optional
you will also need 8 small ramekins and a large roasting tin that can contain the ramekins
(1) Preheat the oven to 180C (fan) and place a sheet of greaseproof on a large baking tray.
(2) Scatter the sugar evenly on the greaseproof and put into the oven for about 30-40 minutes or until the sugar has turned into caramel. Remove from the oven to cool and turn the oven down to 130C (fan)
(3) Break the caramel into smallish pieces and place into the bottom of the ramekins: I do this roughly but you can crush the caramel if you prefer.
(4) Put the eggs, egg yolks, cornflour, vanilla extract and rum into a large bowl and whisk gently to break up the eggs and give a smooth mixture.
(5) Put the evaporated milk, condensed milk, honey and lemon zest into a pan and bring to simmering point, stirring from time to time.
(6) Pour the hot milk mixture into the egg mixture, whisking gently to blend everything together. Divide evenly between the ramekins.
(7) Place the ramekins into a large roasting tray and pour boiling water into the tray, coming to about three-quarters of the way up the ramekins. Bake for 30 minutes before removing from the oven and leaving to cool in the roasting tin of water. Chill until ready to serve.
2 thoughts on “Baked caramel lemon custard”
this is the type of dessert that makes me go weak in the knees…….. seriously!
oh yum oh yum this sounds heavenly. must try! love your idea for cooking the caramel. sounds so easy! i’m a bit terrified of making it usually.
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