- 3/4 cup sugar
- 4 Tablespoons water
- 2 cups whole milk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs
- 2 large egg yolks
- 6 Tablespoons sugar
- Set the oven to 300 and move the oven shelf to the middle.
- Bring 4 cups of water to a boil over high heat and then turn the heat to low. You will use this to cook the custard.
Make the caramel:
- Have a bowl with cool water ready on the side. Using a small heavy bottom saucepan, add the sugar and water and bring the mixture to a boil over high heat, mixing only until the sugar has dissolved.
- You can stir the sugar and water until it comes to a boil and then do not touch it or it may seize and re-crystallize.
- Lower the heat to medium high and continue boiling for 4-5 minutes. The sugar water will first start to thicken and then turn light golden, then amber, and then dark amber. Once the sugar starts to get to the medium amber stage, lower the heat to medium. There is so much heat building in the pan that it will move from amber to completely black quickly. Once it is dark brown, gently place the pan into the bowl of water to stop it from cooking any more.
- Portion the caramel evenly into 6 small (5-6 ounce cups) and set aside.
- (I like a dark brown caramel which contrasts with the sweet custard. If you prefer a less bitter caramel, take the pan off the heat and dip it into the water bowl when it is a deep amber color.)
- Combine the egg yolks, eggs, sugar, and milk in a large bowl and combine with the whisk.
- Pour the mixture through a colander to remove any bits of coagulated egg and then divide the mixture into the cups.
- Place the custards into a baking pan at least 2 inches deep.
- If you’ve beaten a lot of air into the mixture, you can use a lighter and lightly touch any bubbles with the flame to remove them. (This is an extra step I don’t usually take. Laziness is acceptable in home cooking!)
- Put the baking pan into the oven and gently pour the hot water into the baking pan. The custards should have water about ⅓ of the way around the cups.
- Cook the custards for 45-60 minutes. (The time will depend on the material of your cups and also if you’ve decided to use fewer large cups or more smaller sized cups.)
- The custards are set when the center is no longer liquid but still wobbly and jiggles.
- Carefully take the custards out of the oven and gently set them on the counter. Let them cool to room temperature before covering and refrigerating. (If you’re nervous handling a pan of boiling water, you can also turn off the heat and open the oven door, letting the pan cool off a little before taking it out of the oven.)
- Let the purin chill for a minimum of 2 hours. You can either serve them straight from the container or unmold them onto a dish.
- To unmold, run a thin butter knife or small offset spatula around the edge of the custard. Place a small serving dish on top of the mold and flip the custard over, holding onto both pieces.
- If that doesn’t work, try it again with a little more vigor. You can also try wedging the knife/spatula against the side of the custard and coaxing it out onto the plate. For this to work, place the plate on the counter and hold the custard upside down near the plate while running the knife along the custard. You want to create an air pocket so the custard will release.*
*If un-molding the porin sounds like too much work, just serve the custards in the cups with a spoon and a smile.
*The purin custards keep in the fridge for several days. Keep them covered until ready to eat.
Keywords: vanilla, custard, dessert, sweets, japanese, make ahead, holiday, xmas