Purin (Caramel Custard Pudding) is a popular Japanese dessert. A smooth creamy custard pairs with a slightly bitter caramel sauce. Even if you don’t like caramel, you will fall in love with this pudding. Make them ahead and serve on a dinner party!
We went on a very needed vacation to Maui last week. It was our first time in Hawaii. We spent a lot of time relaxing and eating good food. I am very inspired and have many new recipe ideas. I will share more about Maui in a few weeks.
For now, let’s talk about this purin dessert. “Purin” means “pudding” in Japanese. Although it’s called pudding, it’s more like a flan. Purin is very popular in Japan. You can easily find them in restaurants, grocery stores and even convenient stores. Some come in jars and some are served flipped like a flan on a plate.
Sanrio even created a character based on a purin. The character is a dog and named Pompompurin, which looks a lot like a purin with a yellow body and a dark brown beret. You can see him next to the purin in my pictures. He is so adorable!
In a purin, there are two layers. One is the custard. The custard is a mixture of eggs, heavy cream, milk and sugar. It became set after being baked in a water bath. It’s smooth, soft, and creamy. Then, there is the caramel sauce. It’s made from sugar and water. Sugar was melted until deep amber in color, then water was added. The caramel is like a hard candy when cooled. But when it was added to the glass jars and baked with the custard. The caramel turned into a sweet syrup with a slight bitterness. When pairing with the custard, the flavors reminded me of a crème brulee.
What I love about this purin is that it’s not too sweet and it’s pretty light. The amount of pudding is just right. They are served in individual jars and can be made 3 days ahead. It’s the perfect little sweet thing to end a dinner party. Even though Bryan and I are not a huge fan of caramel, this pudding tasted nothing like the caramel that we are used to. We love this dessert. I can’t say enough good things about this dessert. Hope you give them a try!
Purin (Japanese Caramel Custard Pudding)
- 30 grams sugar
- 2 teaspoons water (divided)
- 320 grams whole milk
- 80 grams heavy cream
- 80 grams sugar
- 2 whole large eggs
- 1 large egg yolk
- ½ teaspoon vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 300˚F (150˚C). Prepare 5 (4-ouces) glass jars or ramekins.
- For the caramel, in a small saucepan, combine sugar and 1 teaspoon water. Cook over medium heat, stirring often with a high heat resistant rubber spatula or wooden spoon. Sugar will form clumps, but melt eventually into a dark amber color sauce. Add the 1 teaspoon water into the sauce. Be very careful, the caramel will bubble rapidly when water is added. Quickly divide the sauce into the glass jars as the caramel will harden. Don’t worry if not every jar have the same amount of sauce and the sauce is not spread evenly at the bottom.
- Bring a kettle of water to a boil.
- For the pudding, in a medium bowl, whisk together eggs and egg yolk until light foam begins to form. Set aside.
- In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine milk, heavy cream, and sugar. Cook until sugar just melted, stirring often. Stir in vanilla extract (or vanilla bean paste). Gradually add all the milk mixture into the yolk mixture, whisking continuously.
- Pour the mixture through a sieve into a large measuring cup. Remove bubbles with a piece of wax paper or parchment paper, by pushing it directly on top of the mixture and pulling it away. If needed, repeat one more time.
- Divide the mixture evenly into the glass jars. Prepare a water bath. Put the glass jars into a large baking pan or roasting pan. Pour enough boiling water into the pan to come halfway up the sides of the jars. Bake just until the purin is slightly puffed on top, but still jiggling in the center, about 30 to 35 minutes.
- Carefully transfer the jars on to a cooling rack and cool until slightly warm. Cool in the fridge for at least 3 hours or until cold. Cover with plastic wrap when cool completely. Serve within 3 days.
- This recipe makes about 17 ounces of pudding.
- The glass jars I used is from buying Saint Benoit yogurt. I have been collecting them for a while. You can use ramekins, other small mason jars or even silicon molds, but make sure they are heatproof.
- When making caramel, be careful not to burn the sugar. Add the water when the sauce is deep amber in color.
- Divided the caramel into the jars quickly. As it cools, it will become too hard to scoop.