Crème renversée à l'orange

Dessert: serves 4. Total time: 2 hours 30 minutes
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The finely grated zest of 4 oranges, unwaxed, if possible
500ml full-cream milk
200g caster sugar
2 large eggs
4 large egg yolks

Put the orange zest, milk and half the given amount of caster sugar in a stainless steel saucepan and gently bring to the boil. Remove from the heat, stir together and cover. Leave to infuse for a minimum of 40 minutes. Beat together the egg yolks just to mix and then strain (through a fine sieve) over the infused milk, pressing down well on the orange zest to extract all possible flavour.

Preheat the oven to 275F/ 140C/gas mark 1. Place the remaining 100g of sugar in a small, heavy-bottomed saucepan, add just enough water to cover, and mix together. Boil until a rich brown caramel has formed, then quickly pour it over the base of a shallow dish (approximately 750-850ml - my preference is for a nice old-fashioned Pyrex number). Allow to cool, briefly. Remove any froth from the surface of the orange custard mixture and then slowly pour it upon the hardened caramel.

Put into a hot water bain-marie (making sure the water rises to at least two-thirds of the way up the outside of the dish) and place in the centre of the oven. Bake for about 1-1 1/4 hours, checking its progress from time to time over; all oven temperatures differ slightly, after all. At the moment that you think it needs just a few more minutes - still a little wobbly in the centre - remove from the oven and leave in the bain-marie for 15 minutes more. Remove, leave to cool for 20 minutes or so and place in the fridge to chill.

To turn out, carefully run a small knife around the edge of the custard and gingerly invert on to a suitable dish - its golden caramel sauce will flood around in its wake.