This crème caramel is a far cry from the usual four-yolk custard, yet it is rich and golden with a full caramel flavor. The milk for the custard is heated in the saucepan used to make the caramel; this flavors the custard subtly. For a lovely vanilla flavor, you can use a split vanilla bean instead of extract. Add the vanilla bean to the hot milk and let steep for 10 minutes before removing vanilla bean.

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  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

  • Combine 1/2 cup sugar with water in a small heavy saucepan and bring to a simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally. Increase heat to medium-high and cook, without stirring, until the syrup turns a deep amber color, 5 to 7 minutes. (Watch it carefully at this point so that it does not burn.) Carefully pour the caramel into six 3/4-cup ramekins and tilt the ramekins to coat the bottom and sides evenly.

  • Let saucepan cool for a minute or so, then add the milk and evaporated fat-free milk to the caramel coating the saucepan. Bring to a simmer, stirring to dissolve the caramel. Remove from heat.

  • Lightly whisk whole eggs, egg whites, the remaining 1/3 cup sugar and vanilla in a medium bowl Gradually whisk the milk mixture into the egg mixture. Divide the custard mixture between the caramel-lined ramekins. Skim off any bubbles.

  • Place the ramekins in a roasting or baking pan. Pour hot water two-thirds of the way up the sides of the ramekins. Bake until a knife inserted in the center of the custard comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes.

  • Transfer the ramekins to a rack and cool. Cover and refrigerate until chilled, at least 1 hour or for up to 2 days.

  • To serve, run the tip of a small knife around the edge of the mold and invert onto a plate.

Nutrition Facts

197 calories; 1.7 g total fat; 0.6 g saturated fat; 65 mg cholesterol; 127 mg sodium. 267 mg potassium; 35.4 g carbohydrates; 35 g sugar; 9.1 g protein; 264 IU vitamin a iu; 1 mg vitamin c; 15 mcg folate; 185 mg calcium; 21 mg magnesium;