Baked custards with salted caramel

Neil Perry
Photo: William Meppem

A glossy pudding contrasting salty and sweet to good effect.


400ml milk

175g caster sugar

1 tbsp finely grated orange zest (no pith)

1 stick cinnamon

1/2 tsp sea salt

3 eggs

2 extra egg yolks


Begin this recipe a day ahead. Place the milk, 75g sugar, the orange zest and the cinnamon stick in a saucepan over low heat. Bring slowly to the boil, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and leave to stand for 30 minutes to infuse.

To make the caramel, place the remaining sugar, salt and 100ml water in a heavy-based pan over medium heat, stirring gently, until bubbles appear. Stop stirring and continue to cook, watching carefully, until the water evaporates and the liquid turns the colour of toffee.

Carefully divide the caramel among 4 ovenproof moulds, swirling to coat the sides and bottom. Preheat the oven to 170°C.

Beat the eggs and extra yolks in a bowl. Slowly add the infused milk, stirring constantly until well combined. Strain the mixture through a fine sieve into the toffee-lined moulds. Place in a deep baking dish and add enough hot water to come halfway up the sides of the moulds. Bake for 25 minutes or until a knife inserted in the centre comes out clean.

Remove the moulds from the oven and allow them to cool. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

To serve, dip each mould into a bowl of hot water (to melt the caramel) and run a knife around the edge. Invert onto a serving plate, allowing the salted caramel to flow down the sides. Serve immediately.