Williamsburg’s Michelin-starred Francie (136 Broadway) has an ambitious new pastry chef. Chef Justin Binnie has taken over the pastry program and hopes to upgrade a dessert menu that has been overshadowed by entrees like the famous Francie duck.

Chef Binnie has shared his recipe for Chamomile Crème Caramel. Learn how to make this decadent dessert below and find last week’s Community Cookbook recipe here.

Francie’s Chamomile Crème Caramel 

Makes Four Servings (in 4-ounce ramekins)

Ingredients for Caramel

150 grams (3/4 cup) of sugar

27 grams (about 2 tablespoons) of water

Ingredients for Crème Caramel Custard

200 grams (a little over 3/4 cups) of cream

200 grams (a little over 3/4 cups) of milk

7 grams (about 3 teaspoons) of chamomile (You can find dried chamomile flowers in grocery stores.)

60 grams of egg yolks (Use the yolks from 3 eggs.)

63 grams (about 5 tablespoons) of sugar

1 lemon peel

1 pinch of salt


  1. Start by making the caramel. In a pot, cook the sugar to a medium amber caramel.
  2. Remove the pot from the heat, and slowly add the water to deglaze the pan. (Be careful as the hot sugar will sputter when you add the water.)
  3. Pour the caramel into oven-safe 4-ounce ramekins, just enough to coat the bottom of the dish.
  4. Set ramekins aside while making the custard.
  5. Next, to make the custard, bring the cream and milk to a boil.
  6. Add the chamomile and lemon peel.
  7. Allow the steep overnight.
  8. The next day strain the milk and rescale to 400 grams (1 3/4 cups).
  9. Heat half of the milk to dissolve the sugar and salt.
  10. Whisk in the remaining milk followed by the yolks.
  11. Do not cook the yolks.
  12. Cool the mix completely.
  13. Preheat your oven to 250 F.
  14. Pour the custard into the caramel-lined ramekins.
  15. Place ramekins in a water bath and cover with aluminum foil. (A water bath means that you put the ramekins in a pan of hot water and then put the whole pan in the oven. The hot water surrounding the ramekins helps keep the temperature more consistent.)
  16. Bake in the oven for 35-40 minutes until just set in the center.
  17. Allow to cool completely in the refrigerator.
  18. To unmold, run a cake tester or sharp knife around the edge of the ramekin.
  19. Invert onto a serving plate. *Chef Binnie notes that you can serve with fresh berries.

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