Crème Caramel for Two. Because It's Just the Two of You. And Because It's So Easy.

Can you freeze crème caramel? Non! That’s why I came up with this perfect Crème Caramel for Two recipe.

J’adore crème caramel. But leftovers? Not so much. After four tests, I’ve come up with the perfect Crème Caramel for Two.

It’s been many months since I’ve cooked for four, which means it’s been way too many months since I’ve had crème caramel. You see, my recipe serves four. And there’s simply no reason to have leftover crème caramel around. It only keeps a day or two in the fridge, and you most certainly cannot freeze it!

And yet, I crave this classic French bistro dessert. The silky-smooth cool custard with its drape of caramel is one of the few dishes in the world that truly deserves to be called “simple and sublime.” I especially love serving it after a stew, roast, braise, or a pasta dish.

If you don’t already own custard cups, I highly recommend these by Anchor Hocking. They’re sturdier than the scalloped ridged cups our grandmothers used. I’ve owned my set for over 25 years.

How do you make crème caramel for two? Developing a recipe for two was trickier than it sounds! You see, my crème caramel recipe calls for four egg yolks and one egg. How do you cut that in half? I suppose you could use two egg yolks and half an egg, but … I really wanted to figure out a way not to use three eggs if I could make it work with two.

One egg and one egg yolk? Nope. Tasted two egg-whitey. Two egg yolks? Almost, but something was missing. Two egg yolks and one egg white? It tasted a little diluted — and still too much egg-white flavor.

Fourth time was the charm. For that test, I used two egg yolks and just one tablespoon of egg white (from the eggs that were separated for the yolks). Plus, I added a little heavy cream (rather than using all milk). This helped make up for the wee bit of richness that I wasn’t getting by using part of a third egg yolk.

Custard cups will do, but if you want something fancier, I love the colors of these 6-ounce ramekins from Amazon.

Voilà! A halved the recipe without having to use that third egg (and wasting half of it).

So, what about the caramel? In France, supermarket aisles offer little packets of caramel liquide, the liquid caramelized sugar that provides the syrup for homemade crème caramel. This allows the home cook to skip the tricky caramelizing step.

I’m following that lead. While caramel liquide isn’t widely available here, good caramel sauces are. So, simply top the chilled, baked custard with an excellent ready-made caramel sauce. (I like Trader Joe’s Salted Caramel Sauce, by the way, though I almost always have some of my own homemade caramel sauce on hand in the fridge).

Frankly, I think real caramel sauce is better than watery caramel liquide, which always seems somehow unsatisfying. Give my version a try, and I think you’ll agree. I’d love to hear from you either way.

Crème Caramel for Two
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2
 
Hint: To make it easier to measure the egg whites, first, beat them lightly with a fork to break them up.
Ingredients
  • ½ cup whole milk
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • 2 eggs
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • A small pinch of salt
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Purchased or homemade caramel sauce, for serving
Instructions
  1. Position a rack in the middle of the oven. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Set two 6-ounce custard cups into a baking pan. Put a pot of water on to boil.
  2. In a small saucepan, bring the milk and cream just to a boil; remove from the heat. Separate the eggs, placing the whites in a small bowl and the yolks in a medium mixing bowl. Measure 1 tablespoon egg white and add to the yolks. (Save the remaining whites for another use, or discard).
  3. Lightly beat the egg yolk mixture with the sugar and the salt. Slowly beat in the hot milk mixture until blended. Stir in the vanilla. Divide the custard evenly among the two custard cups.
  4. Slide the oven rack out and place the pan on the rack. Carefully pour the boiling water into the pan until it comes about three-quarters of the way up the custard cups, then slide the rack back in. Bake until the custard is just set (a knife inserted near the center should come out clean, but the center may jiggle slightly), 45 to 50 minutes.
  5. Carefully remove the custard cups from the water bath. Transfer to a wire rack to cool for 30 minutes. Cover and refrigerate until well chilled, about 4 hours.
  6. To serve, heat the caramel sauce in a small saucepan just until warm and pourable. Run a knife around the edges of custards; invert onto individual dessert plates. Pour some caramel sauce over the top of each custard.

Other posts you might enjoy:

Chocolate Pot-de-Crème for Two: I’ve never Made a Better Dessert.

French Apple Tart for Two? Done!

How to Serve a Cheese Course — The French Way.

How to Use Crème Fraîche — The French Way.

10 Best French Gift Ideas for Food-Lovers and France-Lovers

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× 6 = twenty four

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