In heavy saucepan, melt 3/4 cup of sugar until golden brown. Pour syrup into each of 6 or 8 custard cups, or a 1 1/2 qt. baking dish, tilting the cups slightly to coat bottom. This must be done quickly, as caramel hardens very fast. Into same saucepan (don't wash it) put remaining 3/4 cup of sugar, and melt as before. When golden brown, add 2 cups of milk; this will steam and bubble. Stir until brittle caramel is practically all dissolved. Cool slightly.
To beaten eggs add salt, sugar and remaining 2 cups of milk. Add warm mixture to this and stir in vanilla. Pour into custard cups or baking dish. Place cups or dish in pan with 1 inch of hot water. Bake at 350 degrees F for 45 minutes for cups, or 1 hour for baking dish. Do not overcook! Cool, then chill in refrigerator. Serve in dishes, or loosen edges and invert on plate.
Hints: Stir constantly when caramelizing sugar, as it scorches easily. In the first caramelizing, 2-3 Tbsp. of boiling water may be added, in order to keep it more liquid when custard is chilled. Lots of trouble, but worth it!
By Robin from Washington, IA
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