This is great for a large crowd. It has become Lee’s most-requested dessert in the Dry Creek Neighbor’s Club. She usually has to make a double-batch and rarely has anything left over to take home!
- 1/2 c. sugar
- 4 Tbsp. water, plus 2 Tbsp. cold water
- 4 whole eggs
- 4 egg yolks
- 4 Tbsp. sugar
- 4 c. half and half or milk (1 quart)
- 1 Tbsp. vanilla
- cold water for baking in water bath
To make caramel sauce, dissolve ½ cup sugar and 4 Tbsp. water in a small sauce pan. Bring to a boil on high heat. DO NOT STIR. Swirl in pan if necessary. Boil until sauce turns a medium brown color and smells like caramel. Remove from heat and carefully splash 2 Tbsp. of reserved, cold water to stop cooking. CAUTION is required as mixture may bubble up and is extremely hot. Pour into one large (six cup) souffle dish. Set aside to cool on a baking rack.
To make custard, beat egg yolks and whole eggs with a wire whisk. Add sugar and mix until blended. Then slowly and gently whisk in half and half and vanilla. Pour custard mixture through a strainer held over the caramel sauce in the souffle dish. Place souffle dish in a larger pan and pour cold water into the larger pan until water comes an inch up sides, making a water bath. Carefully place on middle rack of oven. Starting in a cold oven, bake at 325 F for one hour and 15 minutes. Remove from oven and cool on a baking rack.
To serve, run a knife once around inside of souffle dish and quickly invert/turn upside down onto a plate or platter with a lip to contain caramel sauce. Slice into wedges, like a pie. Garnish wedges with fresh fruit and/or whipped cream, if desired. Serves about 6-8.
If you do not have a 6 cup souffle dish, Lee suggests you invest in one. She has never used individual oven-proof custard dishes or any other kind of baking dish. She has been told that it can be done.