10 servings (serving size: 1 custard)
Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner; Styling: Cindy Barr

How to Make It

Step 1

Preheat oven to 225°.

Step 2

Heat milk and vanilla bean over medium-high heat in a medium, heavy saucepan to 180° or until tiny bubbles form around edge (do not boil); remove pan from heat. Cover and set aside.

Step 3

Coat 10 (6-ounce) custard cups with cooking spray; arrange cups on a jelly-roll pan.

Step 4

Combine 1 cup sugar and 1/4 cup water in a small, heavy saucepan; cook over medium-high heat until sugar dissolves, stirring frequently. Continue cooking 7 minutes or until golden (do not stir). Immediately pour into prepared custard cups, tipping quickly until caramelized sugar coats bottom of cups.

Step 5

Combine remaining 2/3 cup sugar, salt, and eggs in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk. Remove vanilla bean from milk mixture; reserve bean for another use. Gradually pour warm milk mixture into egg mixture, stirring constantly with a whisk; stir in cream. Strain egg mixture through a sieve into a large bowl; pour about 1/2 cup egg mixture over caramelized sugar in each custard cup. Bake at 225° for 2 hours or until custards are just set. Remove from oven; cool to room temperature. Place plastic wrap on surface of custards; chill overnight.

Step 6

Loosen edges of custards with a knife or rubber spatula. Place a dessert plate, upside down, on top of each cup; invert onto plate. Drizzle any remaining caramelized syrup over custards.

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