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Butterscotch Custards with Apple-Cider Caramel

To prevent clumps in the custard, use a freshly opened package of brown sugar.

  • yield: Makes 6
Photography: John Kernick

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Ingredients

For the caramel

  • 1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup packed dark-brown sugar
  • 2 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 3 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 8 large egg yolks, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon light corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup apple cider

Directions

  1. Step 1

    Make the custards: Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add brown sugar and cook, stirring, until dissolved. Remove from heat and stir in 1 cup cream and the vanilla.

  2. Step 2

    Add remaining 1 1/2 cups cream, the milk, and salt to the brown-sugar mixture. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Pour about 1/3 of the cream mixture into the egg yolks, whisking constantly. Still whisking, add to the remaining cream mixture in pan. Pour through a fine sieve into a bowl. Place plastic wrap directly on surface to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours (or up to 2 days).

  3. Step 3

    Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Divide custard among six 6-ounce heatproof glasses or custard cups. Place in a roasting pan. Add enough hot water to pan to reach 2/3 of the way up sides of glasses. Cover pan with foil, and prick all over with a fork. Bake for 25 minutes. Carefully loosen a corner of the foil. Continue to bake until edges of custard are set but centers are still wobbly, 10 to 15 minutes more. Transfer glasses to a wire rack to cool. Cover, and refrigerate overnight.

  4. Step 4

    Make the caramel: Combine granulated sugar, water, and corn syrup in a small saucepan. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring, until sugar dissolves. Raise heat to high, and cook until mixture turns medium amber, about 3 minutes (swirl pan gently to distribute color). Carefully stir in apple cider (it will spatter). Let cool. Drizzle caramel over custards, or serve it on the side.

Source
Martha Stewart Living, October 2007

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