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6 to 8 servings


This microwave adaptation of a classic French dessert is designed for ovens with low power settings.

Combine 6 tablespoons sugar with water in 1 1/2-quart glass brioche dish (or other similar fluted dish) and blend well. Cook on High until mixture just turns brown, about 4 minutes; do not overcook or caramel will be bitter. Remove from microwave and carefully tilt dish to coat bottom and sides evenly.

Pour milk into 4-cup measuring bowl and cook on High until scalded, about 3 to 4 minutes, watching closely so milk does not boil. In 2-quart bowl, whisk together eggs, yolks, remaining sugar and vanilla until well blended. Slowly add hot milk, whisking constantly, until thoroughly mixed. Pour into caramelized dish. Cook on 25 percent power (Simmer setting, between 200 and 300 watts) until custard begins to set, about 17 to 20 minutes. Custard will be liquid in center when removed from oven since, like all custards, it will set as it cools. A clue is to watch for custard beginning to shrink from the sides of the dish. Cool completely. To serve, run knife along edge of custard before inverting and unmolding on small platter.