Honey & Vanilla Bean Crème Caramel 

Fresh vanilla bean gives this crème caramel an exceptional aroma. Serve with caramelized pear slices on the side, or simply add some fresh berries.

Honey & Vanilla Bean Creme Caramel

Makes six servings


  • 1/2 cup honey, plus 1/3 cup reserved
  • 1/4 cup pear or apple juice
  • 1/2 vanilla bean or 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cups whole milk
  • 3 whole eggs
  • Pinch of sea salt


Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

In a small heavy saucepan, simmer the 1/2 cup honey and pear juice together until caramelized, about 10 minutes. Test to see if the honey caramel is firm enough by dripping a little of it into a glass with ice water. When the honey caramel forms a firm ball, it is ready to distribute evenly into six 4-ounce custard cups or ramekins.

Arrange the ramekins in a larger roasting pan.

Meanwhile, split the vanilla bean lengthwise, scrape just the seeds into the milk, and warm until it begins to steam. While the milk is infusing with the vanilla bean, whisk the eggs, reserved honey and salt together until smooth.

Gradually whisk the warm milk into the egg mixture until smooth. Divide among the caramel-lined ramekins. Pour hot water into the roasting pan until it reaches halfway up the sides of the ramekins.

Place the pan in the oven and bake for 45 to 50 minutes, or until the custards are just set. Allow them to cool out of the oven — but still in the roasting pan — for another 30 minutes.

Chill for at least an hour in the refrigerator before serving. To unmold, run a knife between the custard and the ramekin, then invert onto a dessert plate.

This recipe was created by Betsy Nelson (a.k.a. “That Food Girl”), a Minneapolis-based food stylist and recipe developer.

Why No Numbers?

Readers sometimes ask us why we don’t publish nutrition information with our recipes. We believe that (barring specific medical advice to the contrary) if you’re eating primarily whole, healthy foods — an array of sustainably raised vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, legumes, meats, fish, eggs, whole-kernel grains, and healthy fats and oils — you probably don’t need to stress about the numbers. We prefer to focus on food quality and trust our bodies to tell us what we need.  — The Editors

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