By SIMON WEBSTER
The holidays are around the corner and everyone is looking for easy ways to impress guests and entertain friends and family. It’s also the season to moderately indulge in some rich desserts.
Crème caramel is typically served in fine-dining restaurants and is a dessert menu favorite. But for some reason people don’t make it much at home. Maybe everyone thinks it would be too hard or take to long. Or the idea of making your own custard and caramel sounds overwhelming.
Trust me. It’s none of the above. Give it a try. You’ll be pleasantly surprised at how easy it is and the look on everyone’s face after taking a bit makes it a rewarding effort.
Another good reason to choose this dessert is because you can make it the day before. In fact it is better that way because it has plenty of time to chill.
You don’t have to share with everyone how easy it is. Just watch as they dip their spoons into the soft and creamy custard with its velvety texture and bits of caramel in every bite. Your culinary accomplishments will be the hit of the holiday season.
Simon Webster is the Executive Chef of Sabor a Pasion Country House & Bistro a multi-faceted dining destination just outside Palestine. For more information go to www.saborapasion.com or call 903-729-9500.
For Pastry Cream:
2 cups milk
1/4 cup sugar
3 drops vanilla extract
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
Make the caramel by placing the water in a thick-bottomed pan. Add the sugar and allow to boil gently without shaking or stirring the pan. When the sugar begins to turn to golden brown, carefully pour into six four-ounce dariole moulds or ramekins. Prepare the pastry cream by whisking together the eggs, sugar and vanilla in a mixing bowl. Add the milk to a saucepan over low heat and warm to just below boiling. Remove from heat and gradually whisk the hot milk into the egg mixture, whisking constantly. Pour the mixture through a strainer to remove any egg solids then pour into the moulds over the caramel. Place the moulds in a baking pan that is half filled with water. Bake at 325 until set, about 35 to 45 minutes. Remove from oven to cool and refrigerate before serving. Makes 6 portions.