Friday, April 8, 2011

Caramel Pudding

2 cups heavy cream
1/2 vanilla bean
1/2 cup sugar
3 large egg yolks, room temperature
fine sea salt

Preparing the pudding:
Heat the oven to 300 degrees F.
Pour the cream into a small saucepan. Split vanilla bean and scrape the seeds into the cream; toss the scraped pod in there too. Turn the heat to low to gently warm the cream.

Reserve 2 tablespoons of the sugar; pour remaining sugar and 1 1/2 tablespoons water into heavy-bottomed saucepan and set over medium heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Then crank the heat to high and let the liquid bubble away; don’t stir, just swirl the pan occasionally until it turns dark amber which will take about 4 minutes. Watch it closely.

Remove the vanilla pod out of the cream. Slowly stir the warm cream into the caramel over medium heat. Once it comes to a boil, turn off the heat and let the mixture cool for about 10 minutes.

Whisk the egg yolks with the remaining sugar and a pinch of salt in a medium bowl. Whisk a little of the cream and caramel mixture into the egg yolks. Gradually add the rest, until it's all incorporated.

Strain the mixture into a pitcher or large measuring cup and pour into four ramekins. Place the ramekins in a shallow pan half filled with cold water. If you like your caramel a bit salty, sprinkle a few extra grains of sea salt on top of each one. Cook at 300 degrees F for about an hour to an hour and 15 minutes. Chill for at least 3 hours or overnight. Serve with whipped cream.

Serves 4


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