Vanilla-Orange Custard with Caramel Recipe

Cool and creamy, this custard combined with fresh berries makes a perfect dessert for a warm June day.

Serves 8.


  • custard
  • 2 oranges
  • 2 cups milk (do not use low-fat or nonfat)
  • 1 cup half and half
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 1-inch piece vanilla bean, split in half lengthwise
  • 4 large eggs

  • 3 large egg yolks
  • caramel

  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons water
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 3 cups assorted mixed fresh berries


    For Custard
    Using vegetable peeler, cut peel (orange part only) in wide strips from oranges. Combine milk, half and half and sugar in saucepan. Scrape seeds from vanilla bean into milk mixture; add bean. Bring to simmer, stirring until sugar dissolves. Add peel. Remove from heat. Cover and steep 30 minutes.

    Strain mixture into medium bowl; cool to lukewarm. Whisk eggs and yolks in large bowl toblend. Gradually whisk milk mixture into eggs. Chill until cold.

    For Caramel
    Mix 1 cup sugar, 1/4 cup water and juice in heavy medium saucepan. Stir over low heat until sugar dissolves. Increase heat; boil without stirring until syrup turns deep amber, occasionally swirling pan and brushing down sides with wet pastry brush, about 10 minutes. Add 3 tablespoons water (mixture will bubble). Stir over low heat until hard bits dissolve. Immediately pour into 6-cup soufflé dish; swirl to coat bottom and halfway up sides. Cool.

    Preheat oven to 350°F. Whisk custard; pour into caramel-coated dish. Place in large baking pan. Fill pan with enough hot water to come halfway up sides of dish. Cover pan completely with foil, sealing at edges. Bake until center 3 inches of custard moves only slightly when dish is shaken, about 1 hour. Remove from oven; let stand covered 10 minutes. Remove from water; chill overnight.

    Combine berries and 1/4 cup sugar in bowl. Let stand 30 minutes.

    Run knife around sides of dish to loosen custard. Place platter atop dish. Invert custard onto platter. Remove dish; allow caramel to spill out onto platter. Garnish with some berries. Serve, passing berry mixture separately.

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