Salted Caramel Brown Sugar Pots de Creme
Merry Christmas Friends! I brought this petite dessert, Salted Caramel Brown Sugar Pots de Creme, to a holiday party the other night. They travel well and received rave reviews too. It’s amazing how a handful of everyday ingredients can easily be turned into a sublime little treat: sugar, cream, milk, egg, vanilla, salt.
Salted Caramel Brown Sugar Pots De Creme Recipe
Sugar, Cream, Milk, Egg, Vanilla, Salt
1 1/2 c. dark brown sugar (for caramel)
1/2 c. dark brown sugar (for custard)
1/8 t. salt
2 c. whipping cream
1 3/4 c. whole milk
12 egg yolks
3/4 t. vanilla extract
fleur de sel, or brittany gray salt as garnish
Mix 1 1/2 c. sugar with 1/8 t. salt and about 1/4 c. water in a heavy bottomed sauce pan over medium high heat. Continue to stir with a whisk while the sugar liquifies and bubbles and starts to caramelize, about 5 minutes. Due to the sugar’s original dark color, it’s not possible to judge the caramelization visually. Continue to stir the sugar until it has a complex nutty aroma, taking care that it does not burn.
Remove the pan from heat and add the cream and milk slowly, whisking until the sugar is completely mixed with the liquids. Set aside.
With a whisk or hand mixer, blend egg yolks with 1/2 c. dark brown sugar and vanilla.
Slowly ladle the cream mixture into the egg mixture, while continuing to blend with a hand mixer or whisk. Next, strain the liquid through a fine mesh sieve to remove any bits of scrambled egg. Here’s my best cooking tip of the holiday season! Use a gravy separator to pour the custard into the little pots, ramekins, or tasting spoons. The custard flows from the bottom of the gravy separator, so it is completely smooth, not one little bubble on the top, creating a beautiful mirror-like presentation.
Place the little pots/spoons in a roasting pan or large oven-proof skillet. Fill hot water half-way up the sides of the pots. Tightly cover with aluminum foil, poke a few holes in the foil, and bake at 325 degrees for about 40 minutes until the custard is set along the sides but the middle is still slightly wobbly. Remove the pan from the oven, then remove the pots from the water and let cool to room temperature. Refrigerate, covered, for a minimum of one to two hours. Garnish with flaky sea salt right before serving. We like gray mineraly hand-harvested Brittany sea salt.
This recipe makes twenty-four 2 oz. portions (in little amuse bouche cups) plus extra for six 3 oz. portions (in tasting spoons). To travel with the little pots ~ place a kitchen towel in the bottom of the clean roasting pan used to cook the pots, cover with foil, and have a great time attending your friends’ gala! Remember to bring the salt separately. And bring espresso spoons for serving too.
May your days be merry, sweet, and bright…