14 tablespoons sugar, divided
3 eggs or 4 yolks
1 cup 1 percent milk (see note)
1 cup fat-free half and half (see note)
1 teaspoon vanilla, almond, rum or orange extract
Mint sprig or sweetened whipped cream for garnish
To caramelize sugar: Have ready six, 8-ounce custard cups or a 9- to 10-inch baking dish. Put 1/2 to 1 inch of water in a large roasting pan in a cold oven.
Place 12 tablespoons of the sugar in a heavy fry pan on medium heat. Shake pan frequently and stir with a wooden spoon for about 10 minutes or until it melts. Watch carefully. Sugar is ready when golden. Pour immediately into individual ramekins or larger pan and let harden.
For the custard: Combine eggs, milk, remaining sugar and flavoring in blender. Pour over cooled caramel. Carefully set in roasting pan, being careful not to splash water into custard. Heat oven to 325 degrees and bake 60-90 minutes or until slightly browned and a knife inserted in center comes out clean. Cool on a rack. Cover and refrigerate up to two days.
Before serving, run a knife around edge of mold and turn out onto serving dish. Cut large mold into serving pieces and spoon caramel over each. Garnish.
Cook's notes: You need 2 cups dairy total, from skim to half whole milk, half heavy cream. For flavoring you also may use several tablespoons of liqueur, rum or brandy but reduce the milk accordingly.