Pots de Crème is a beautiful French dessert dating to the 17th century. It quite literally translates to “pot of cream”. With 3 basic ingredients – eggs, sugar & cream – this dessert can be transformed into so many flavors. Salted butterscotch is addictive and perfectly complex with the smoky caramel, creamy custard and that lovely bite of sea salt. My second favorite is this version with lime and dark chocolate.
Salted Butterscotch Pots de Crème – Serves 8
- 9 large egg yolks, at room temperature
- 1 1/4 cups packed dark brown sugar
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3 1/2 cups heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
Preheat the oven to 300°F. Arrange eight ramekins or custard pots with a ¾-cup capacity in a large, shallow baking pan. Set a fine-mesh sieve over a large liquid measuring cup or pitcher. Place the egg yolks in a large bowl and set aside.
In a medium, heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat, cook the brown sugar and butter, without stir¬ring, until the sugar turns a deep amber color and develops a nutty smell, about 10 minutes. Use you nose and don’t let it burn. Pour the heavy cream into the mixture gradually, whisking constantly. Remove from the heat. Add the sea salt and vanilla into the mixture. Stir to combine.
Slowly pour the hot butterscotch mixture into the egg yolks, whisking constantly. Strain the custard through the sieve into the measuring cup. Pour into the ramekins, dividing the custard evenly. Pour hot water into the baking pan until it reaches halfway up the outside of the ramekins, and cover the pan with aluminum foil. Bake for 45 minutes. Rotate the pan and continue to bake for 15 minutes more, or just until the custard has set and doesn’t jiggle with you shake the pan. Remove the pan from the oven, uncover, and, using tongs, carefully lift the custards from the water bath and set on a cooling rack.
The custards can be made up to 1 week in advance and stored, covered, in the refrigerator. Bring to room temperature before serving or serve slightly chilled.