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Bacon’s caramel pot de crème with plum chutney reflects his skill for pairing sweetness with acidity. It also shows off his savvy for planning: this make-ahead dessert will work when the oven is booked. The pots de crème and tuiles can be made up to two days ahead. Keep the custards in the fridge and the cookies in an airtight container. The chutney is best when made the day it is going to be used and served at room temperature.
16 egg yolks
1/4 packed cup dark brown sugar
1 cup milk
2 cups heavy cream, divided
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup water
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 tsp. kosher salt
6 (5-oz.) oven-proof ramekins
6 Tbs. plum chutney
Vanilla tuiles, for garnish
Preheat oven to 300°F.
Place egg yolks in a large bowl and lightly whisk till smooth. Set aside.
Combine the brown sugar, milk, and cream in a heavy saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir until the brown sugar starts to dissolve. Continue to heat until the milk is steaming and tiny bubbles have formed along the edges, but do not boil. Remove from heat, cover, and keep warm.
Combine granulated sugar and water in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Do not stir. As soon as the sugar turns amber (ideally the color of a new penny), remove from heat. Carefully add 1/4-cup of the hot cream mixture, whisking until combined. Whisk in two more cups of the cream mixture, then whisk in the rest.
Pour the caramel cream into the yolks in a slow, steady stream, gently whisking the mixture continuously. Stir in the vanilla and salt. Strain the custard through a fine strainer into a pitcher. Skim off any foam or bubbles on top.
Pour the custard into the six ramekins, leaving a 1/2-inch at the top of each. Place ramekins in a roasting pan and carefully fill the pan with hot water until it comes halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Carefully cover the pan with foil and place in the oven.
Bake the pots de crème for 45 to 50 minutes, until set. When done, their centers may still be a bit loose when they are gently shaken.
Remove the roasting pan from the oven and let the pots de crème finish cooling uncovered until the water is room temperature. When cool, refrigerate uncovered to preserve the burnished color.
When ready to serve, top each with a tablespoon of plum chutney and a sprinkle of broken tuiles.