Serves: Serves 6
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 cup dark brown sugar
- 2 cups heavy cream
- ½ cup whole milk
- 1 teaspoon coarse salt
- ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 large egg
- 5 large egg yolks
Preheat the oven to 300°F. Melt the butter in a medium, heavy-based saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the brown sugar and stir with a wooden spoon or heatproof rubber spatula until blended. Bring the thick sugar mixture to a boil and cook, stirring and scraping, for about 4 minutes from the time it starts to bubble. At first it will look puffy and frothy, but eventually it turns smoother and creamier as the moisture cooks off. Scrape the sides and bottom of the pan well so the sugar caramelizes but doesn't burn.
Carefully pour in the cream and milk. It will sizzle and the sugar will seize up in a lump, but that's okay. Gently whisk the mixture over medium heat until all the sugar has melted and the mixture is smooth. Whisk in the salt and vanilla.
Put the egg and yolks into a medium bowl and whisk until blended. Gently whisk in the hot cream until well blended, but don't whisk vigorously because you don't want to work air into the pudding.
Put six 6-ounce ramekins or pudding cups into a 13 by 9-inch baking dish and pour the pudding batter into the cups. Add very hot water to the baking dish so it comes halfway up the ramekins. Cover the whole dish with foil and carefully transfer the dish to the oven. Don't let the water slosh into the puddings. Bake until the edges of the puddings are set and the centers are still quite wobbly, 45 to 50 minutes. Remove the dish from the oven, take the puddings from the water bath using tongs or a kitchen towel to protect your hands, and let them cool for about an hour on a rack. Cover each with plastic and transfer to the fridge to chill for at least 3 hours or up to 3 days.