Crème Caramel – Always Classy, Always Easy

Creme caramel belongs on the short list for World’s Greatest Dessert.* This time-honored custard is well known in France, Italy, and of course Spain where it’s called flan, as it’s referred to in Mexico as well. How is my creme caramel different than others? The custard (creme) is laced with Angostura bitters to add a deep flavor nuance. Ever wonder why bitters is so popular in cocktails such as Manhattans? Same reason: it adds flavor depth. Bitters is widely used in cooking throughout the Caribbean, South America and Australia — to name a few. And as you know, I’m hooked on bitters in food, like Rosie’s and my favorite Thanksgiving pumpkin pie that uses orange bitters. So… give this creme caramel a try.

Crème Caramel

Course Dessert
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 6
Author Rita's Kitchen


Caramelized Sugar

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. water
  • 6 oz. ramekins


  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 cups whole milk or half & half
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp. Angostura aromatic bitters or 1/2 tsp. Angostura orange bitters
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • Dash salt


Preheat oven to 325°F. Place ramekins in a 9 x 13 baking pan. Combine sugar and water in a small saucepan; stir. Boil gently over medium heat for about 10 minutes or until sugar starts to turn golden. Remove from heat and divide among ramekins, titling to coat bottoms of each as you pour. Note that sugar will continue to caramelize after removing pan from heat. Meanwhile, boil a quart or two of water for the 9 x 13 pan.

    For crème, whisk eggs in a medium bowl or 4-cup measuring cup. Add remaining ingredients; stir to dissolve sugar. Divide among the ramekins. Pour the hot water into pan halfway up the ramekins. Bake 40 minutes. Remove from oven and let stand in the hot water 10 minutes. Remove ramekins from water and cool completely. Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours or for several days. Serve in ramekins or invert onto plates. To invert, run a thin knife or rubber spatula around the inside edges of ramekins. Place serving plate on top and quickly turn over. If crème caramel does not drop out, wiggle ramekin a bit.

      per serving with whole milk: 235 calories, 5.8 g fat (2.6 g sat fat), 132.1 mg cholesterol, 6.8 g protein, 38.2 g carbohydrate, 108.6 mg sodium, 0 g fiber
      per serving with half & half: 290 calories, 12.4 g fat (6.8 g sat fat), 154 mg cholesterol, 6.6 g protein, 37.8 g carbohydrate, 106.6 mg sodium, 0 g fiber

      * says Chef John on

      Leave a Reply

      Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

      This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.