1 cup sugar, divided
1/4 cup water
2 cups whole milk
4 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
Preheat oven to 350?F. Stir 1/2 cup sugar and 1/4 cup water in heavy small saucepan over low heat until sugar dissolves. Increase heat; boil without stirring until syrup is deep amber color, brushing down sides of pan with wet pastry brush and swirling pan occasionally, about 10 minutes. Divide caramel among six 3/4-cup custard cups. Working quickly, tilt cups, coating bottoms and part of sides.
Stir milk and 1/2 cup sugar in medium saucepan over low heat just until sugar dissolves (milk will be lukewarm). Whisk eggs in medium bowl until blended.
Slowly whisk in milk mixture. Whisk in vanilla and salt. Strain custard into prepared cups.
Arrange cups in 13x9x2-inch metal baking pan. Pour enough hot water into baking pan to come halfway up sides of cups. Bake flans until just set in center, about 50 minutes. Remove cups from water and let stand 30 minutes. Chill until cold, at least 4 hours and up to 1 day. Cut around sides of each cup to loosen flan; turn out onto plate.
From Bon Appetit