Orange-scented cr̬me caramel with pistachio praline
- zest of 2 oranges
- 1/4 heaped cup (75g) caster sugar
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1/2 cup (120g) caster sugar
- 3 eggs
- 4 egg yolks
- 1/2 cup caster sugar
- 1/2 cup pistachio kernels
Rub the orange zest and 1/4 cup caster sugar together with your fingertips until well combined. Put this in a small saucepan with the milk and bring just to boiling point. Pour this into a jug, cover with plastic and leave to infuse for an hour or so.
Then, to make the caramel, pour 1/2 cup caster sugar into a saucepan with 3 tablespoons of cold water, set the heat to medium-high and cook until the sugar has melted into the water and become a rich, dark caramel. You can scrape any excess sugar down the sides of the pan if necessary. Do watch this part carefully as there’s a fine line between being the perfect dark caramel and burning completely.
Preheat the oven to 150°C fan-forced or 170°C conventional.
Divide the caramel evenly into the 4 moulds so it coats the bottom of each.
In a small saucepan, warm the milk but do not boil. Add the orange-scented sugar and whisk together. Remove from heat.
Then, to finish up, whisk the 3 eggs and 4 egg yolks together. Pour over the warm orange-sugar and milk mixture. Whisk again to combine and then pour this into the moulds, filling each to almost capacity.
Place these in a deep baking tray and then onto the middle shelf of the oven. Now, this is the only tricky part of the whole recipe; you want to fill the trays with hot water but avoid getting any splashes on your moulds so fill the jug with water and very carefully pour into the tray while half in the oven. Gently push the tray back in, close the oven door and cook for 35 minutes or until the custards feel set but still quite wobbly.
Meanwhile, to make the praline; pour the 1/2 cup sugar into a saucepan over medium-high heat and cook until the sugar melts into a dark and golden caramel. Line a tray with baking paper and scatter with the nuts. It’s pretty much the same process as making the caramel above but this time without any water. Once you have a rich gold colour and all the sugar has melted, pour over the nuts. Leave to set and then break into shards.
Remove from the oven, cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for a couple of hours to set. If you rush this process the custards will probably collapse into a disappointing heap as you try to un-turn them. Serve with a few shards of praline each.
- You’ll need 4 dariole moulds or one-cup capacity ramekins for this recipe. But if you have neither, maybe four tea-cups that can take a little time in the oven.
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