These easy 'pots de crèmes' are just sweet enough, just salty enough, and just drop-dead gorgeous enough to be my favorite dessert.

Recipe Summary

prep:
10 mins
cook:
1 hr
additional:
1 hr
total:
2 hrs 10 mins
Servings:
6
Yield:
6 (.5 ounce) ramekins
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Ingredients

6
Original recipe yields 6 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C). Place 6 (6.5 ounce) ramekins in a baking dish.

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  • Place sugar evenly in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Without stirring, allow sugar to slowly melt around the edges of the pan, about 5 minutes, adjusting heat as necessary. When edges start to bubble, shake and swirl pan to dissolve remaining sugar but without stirring it. Keep pan moving until you have a clear, dark caramel, about 10 minutes. When sugar is completely dissolved, whisk in cream; caramel will cool into a lump; this is normal. Keep stirring over medium heat until caramel melts and mixture comes up to temperature and sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat

  • Stir in kosher salt, vanilla, and cold milk; mix well.

  • Place egg yolks in a large mixing bowl. Whisk in a ladleful of caramel/milk mixture to the yolks. Add 2 more ladlefuls, one at a time. Then mix in the remainder of the caramel/milk mixture to the yolks, whisking until thoroughly blended.

  • Divide custard mixture evenly among the ramekins. Carefully pour into the baking dish enough water so that it comes halfway up the sides of the filled ramekins.

  • Bake in preheated oven until custard is set and the top of custard jiggles evenly across the surface, 45 to 60 minutes (depending on the size of your ramekins and how full they are). If the center seems looser than the edges, continue to bake another minute or so.

  • Transfer ramekins to a cooling rack; cool to room temperature. Cover ramekins with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 1 hour until they are very cold.

  • Serve topped with a pinch of light, flaky sea salt.

Cook's Note:

If kosher salt isn't available, use 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt in place of the 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt.

Nutrition Facts

467 calories; protein 6.9g 14% DV; carbohydrates 27.3g 9% DV; fat 37.3g 57% DV; cholesterol 420mg 140% DV; sodium 271.8mg 11% DV. Full Nutrition

Reviews (13)

Read More Reviews

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 5 stars
09/09/2016
My go to group dinner dessert. This dessert is spot on; it is so smooth perfectly rich and the perfect size. It's perfectly decadent without feeling like you've just triggered an onset of diabetes. I like it for group dinners for 5 reasons: 1 - the recipe itself is made for more than two people I'd eat them all myself if I didn't have company. 2. There is a certain vibe of fancy when you hand out individual ramekins at the end of dinner 3. it is served cold therefore you can make them ahead of time put them in the fridge and not give them another thought until everyone is ready for dessert. if you're hosting this is super helpful. I make mine the morning of a dinner 4. Easy clean up. take up everyone's ramekins and you're done 5. Recipe calls for cheap and common ingredients. I've made this for a party of 8 with 6 oz servings in 8 oz ramekins. I just added half of the recipe to the original recipe. Follow the recipe exactly and you won't have a problem. Key Tip: Keep an eye on your sugar at the very beginning. I've burned mine more than once cause I get distracted and have to start over. I like to measure out my ingredients ahead of time so when you hit go time you're ready. I bake mine the full hour. Read More
(10)
19 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 15
  • 4 star values: 3
  • 3 star values: 0
  • 2 star values: 1
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 5 stars
09/08/2016
My go to group dinner dessert. This dessert is spot on; it is so smooth perfectly rich and the perfect size. It's perfectly decadent without feeling like you've just triggered an onset of diabetes. I like it for group dinners for 5 reasons: 1 - the recipe itself is made for more than two people I'd eat them all myself if I didn't have company. 2. There is a certain vibe of fancy when you hand out individual ramekins at the end of dinner 3. it is served cold therefore you can make them ahead of time put them in the fridge and not give them another thought until everyone is ready for dessert. if you're hosting this is super helpful. I make mine the morning of a dinner 4. Easy clean up. take up everyone's ramekins and you're done 5. Recipe calls for cheap and common ingredients. I've made this for a party of 8 with 6 oz servings in 8 oz ramekins. I just added half of the recipe to the original recipe. Follow the recipe exactly and you won't have a problem. Key Tip: Keep an eye on your sugar at the very beginning. I've burned mine more than once cause I get distracted and have to start over. I like to measure out my ingredients ahead of time so when you hit go time you're ready. I bake mine the full hour. Read More
(10)
Rating: 4 stars
02/27/2016
I made this custard for my fiancé he absolutely loved it. It has very smooth flavor and the sea salt on top is divine. When cooking I decided to use just sea salt for the entire dish and skipped over the kosher salt. I also used small round Pyrex dishes on top of a baking sheet and it turned out perfectly fine. I would highly recommend this also it's fun showing your family or kids how Carmel is made. It is something so simple that not everyone actually knows. Read More
(7)
Rating: 5 stars
09/29/2018
I split the recipe in half and it turned out wonderful... try it you'll like it:-) I'll be making it again and again. Read More
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Rating: 5 stars
06/29/2019
True to Chef John s style it s easy and delicious. I ve made it in a casserole dish and in separate individual servings using small canning jars (since I don t have ramekins). Turns out great every time. I resist making it more often because of the 9 egg yolks and having to use almost a dozen eggs. But for special occasions or company totally worth it. Contrary to his advice of not straining it I DO strain it. There is usually some globs of egg and caramel pieces. I want silky smooth texture and spraying out a strainer is not a strain. Ha! Read More
Rating: 5 stars
08/01/2019
Easy yummy and they look amazing! Read More
Rating: 5 stars
05/18/2020
I can't believe there aren't more reviews for this recipe. Easy and delicious! But don't burn your sugar! Read More
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Rating: 5 stars
02/04/2019
I made it for some friends and everyone cleaned their ramekins. It was delicious thanks for sharing! Read More
Rating: 5 stars
09/16/2018
Absolutely lovely! I grated some pumpkin candy on the top too just to make it feel more seasonal. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
01/02/2019
Added a little more sugar for a sweeter taste it turned out delious Read More