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The Ultimate Caramel Custard

Caramel Custard was one of the favourite puddings of my childhood, churned out in different styles and flavours by a variety of cooks and ayahs across many cantonments in North India! But now, I have finally got it right, thanks to the recipe in Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking..yes, i went out and bought it after seeing Julie and Julia!
This custard was deliciously tender and silky, and it turned out beautifully too. Best of all, no trace of an eggy smell from all those eggs! I've translated all those quarts and fahrenheits..

You need

 A  metal mould in which to cook the caramel and bake the custard that holds 6 cups of liquid.  I use a larger pressure cooker separator tin, or a cake tin  - (not non-stick)
A pan  or bowl full of cold water into which you can sit the mould
A large bowl
A hand held mixer or a whisk
A large roasting tin or baking tin into which you can place the mould
Hot and cold water ready for various dippings
A fine strainer of a large diameter

 Line up all these utensils before you start. This is important!
Clear the counter as you need some space, also clear the sink.
Julia Child advises you to buy suitable metal moulds. I'm just using what I can find in the kitchen, a  cake tin.
Fill the kettle and start it boiling.

Making the Caramel
Half a cup granulated white sugar
2 tablespoons water
 Place sugar and water in the mould. Place it on a low fire and allow the sugar to melt slowly into the heat. Swirl the pan around and around to prevent it clumping up. If it does clump, shake it or stir gently with a metal spoon. The sugar will eventually melt into syrup, just when you start despairing, and start turning golden. When its a deep gold, remove from the heat, and gently place the pan in the bowl of cold water for a minute or less. Pick up the caramel mould tin and swirl the caramel syrup around the sides before it hardens. Leave the tin upside down and start on the custard.
Making the Custard
Half a cup of sugar
3 eggs
3 egg yolks
2 1/2 cups of milk
1 tsp vanilla essence

Preheat the oven to 180 C.
Put the milk onto a low heat, and get it to start heating up. It needs to be in a low simmer.
Beat the eggs and sugar. Add the eggs and then the yolks, beating vigorously between each egg or yolk.
Pour in the hot milk in a very thin stream, beating all the while.
Add the teaspoon of vanilla extract and stir it into milk and egg mixture.
Strain the milk and egg mixture into the mould.
Place the mould into the tin. Fill the tin with boiling water, about halfway up the side.
Place in the lower third of the oven
Close the oven, after 5 minutes turn the heat down to 120 C.
Bake for 40 minutes, the top will be golden crusted, and the surface will be very gently set.
Take it out of the oven. To serve immediately, dip into a bowl of cool water, and then place in the fridge, typically till dinner is over.
Run a knife around the sides and shake the tin gently to loosen.
Place a flat plate over the tin, and invert.
The custard will slip out and be covered with gloriously golden and silky caramel syrup.