- 3 cups whole milk
- 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise, seeds scraped and reserved
- 1 cup sugar, plus 2/3 cup
- 1/4 cup water
- 2 tablespoons orange juice
- Cooking spray
- 7 eggs
- Pinch salt
- 5 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
- 1 cup mixed berries
- 1/4 cup prepared raspberry sauce
- 8 sprigs mint, for garnish
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees F.
In a heavy-bottomed saucepan heat the milk, the vanilla pod over medium-low heat and bring to a simmer. Do not boil.
For the caramel: Mix together 1 cup of sugar and 1/4 cup of water in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Heat until the sugar dissolves and continue cooking until the sugar turns golden brown. Do not stir. Remove from heat and add 2 tablespoons of orange juice. (Be very careful when you add this because the hot sugar will fly everywhere.) Shake the pan to incorporate the orange juice and sugar.
Spray 8 (4 to 5-ounce) ramekin dishes or 1 large flan mold, with cooking spray. Pour the caramel into the dishes, to completely cover the bottom. In a large bowl mix together the remaining 2/3 cup sugar, the eggs, and a pinch of salt and whisk well. Remove the vanilla pod from the milk and gradually blend the milk into egg and sugar mixture while stirring or whisking constantly. Stir in the heavy cream, then strain the egg mixture through a sieve.
At this point, add the vanilla bean seeds and pour the mixture into the ramekin dishes over the caramel. Fill a deep casserole dish with water and arrange ramekins in the casserole dish. The water should reach halfway up the dishes. Bake in the preheated 200 degrees F oven until the custard sets, about 1 1/2 hours. Remove the ramekins from the oven and cool. Refrigerate for 2 to 3 hours before serving.
To serve: Mix together fresh berries and raspberry sauce in a small bowl. Remove the ramekins from the refrigerator and loosen the edges with a small knife. Put a dessert plate on top of the ramekin dish, and turn upside down, so that the caramel sits on top. Remove ramekin dish. Spoon the berries on top of each creme caramel and garnish with a fresh mint sprig.
Recipe courtesy of Robert Irvine