Jack Pickett, Phoenix Table & Bar
1 quart milk
1 vanilla bean, split
6 egg yolks
4 whole eggs
1 1/4 cups sugar
Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.
Mix 3/4 cup of the sugar with a little water in a pan, and slowly dissolve over low heat. When the sugar has dissolved, turn up the heat and boil until the syrup thickens and is a red brown color, but not smoking.
Carefully divide the caramel among 8 ramekins, coating the bottoms of each one. Set aside to cool.
Bring the milk and vanilla bean to almost a boil (scald).
Beat the eggs, yolks, and remaining sugar until light.
Slowly pour the hot milk into the egg mixture, beating well to prevent the eggs from curdling.
Strain the milk-egg mixture into a pitcher, and then divide the mixture into the ramekins.
Set the ramekins into a large roasting pan, and pour in an inch of warm water. Carefully place this pan into the preheated oven.
Cook for 40 minutes, or until the custard just sets. Your finger will not pick up any uncooked custard when you gently touch the top of the custard.
Pull out the oven rack to hold the oven door ajar, turn off the oven, and cool the custard down to room temperature. Finish chilling in the refrigerator.
To serve, carefully run a knife around the edge of the ramekin to release the custard, then gently flip the custard onto a plate. Pour the caramel over the top and serve.