for the caramel:
- 3/8 cup (101g) honey
- 1/2 cup (120ml) water
for the custard:
- 600ml almond milk
- 1 vanilla pod (or 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract)
- 4 egg yolks, plus 2 whole eggs
- 1-2 tablespoons honey (to taste)
for greasing the ramekins:
- light olive oil (not extra virgin)
- Put the honey and water in a small saucepan – preferably an enamel one with a pale-coloured bottom, if you have one, as this will make it easier to monitor changes to the colour. Place over a medium heat and stir for 1-2 minutes, or until fully blended. Turn up the heat to medium-high and boil, swirling occasionally, until the liquid turns a deep amber colour – about 15-20 minutes. Keep an eye on it as soon as it starts to colour, as you don’t want to burn it. When done, the liquid should have thickened and feel tacky when you drag a wooden spoon along the bottom of the pan. Pour the caramel into 4 ramekins with a capacity of at least 200ml, or a 900g / 2lb loaf tin – the recipe makes about 800ml. Leave to cool for 15 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 150°C/300°F.
- Pour the milk into a saucepan. Slit the vanilla pod in half length ways. Scrape out the seeds with the tip of the knife and add to the milk, along with the pod. Heat slowly over a gentle heat to just below boiling point. Take off the heat. Fish out and discard the vanilla pod.
- Whisk the eggs yolks and honey until fully blended. Gradually pour the hot milk over the eggs in a thin stream, whisking constantly to prevent the hot milk from curdling the eggs. Keep whisking until fully blended. Push through a fine-mesh sieve to remove any lumps.
- Lightly grease the sides of the ramekins above the caramel, then pour in the custard. Cover with tin foil to stop the top from becoming crunchy. Arrange the ramekins in a roasting tray, leaving some space between each ramekin. Pour in just-boiled water from the kettle around the ramekins, until it comes about half-way up their sides. Transfer to the lowest shelf of the preheated oven, where the heat is gentlest.
- Bake for about 30 minutes, until the custard is just set. Test by giving a gentle shake – if there is a slight wobble in the centre of an otherwise solid mass then it is done, otherwise return to the oven and re-test in another 5 minutes. If cooking in a loaf tin, rather than individual ramekins, check after 1 hour 20 minutes.
- When done, remove from the water bath and leave to cool on a wire cooling rack. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. The creme caramel will keep well for up to 3 days in the refrigerator. To serve, run a small knife around the sides and quickly invert onto a plate. For best results, remove from the refrigerator half an hour before serving.