1. Have ready 6 (6 oz.) ramekins or custard cups. Place 1/2 cup of the sugarin a small saucepan and drizzle the water over it. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, and continue to boil until the sugar mixture begins to darken, about 5 to 7 minutes, shaking the pan periodically. Do not stir. When mixture is a deep caramel color, remove from heat and immediately pour into the ramekins, dividing equally. Swirl each one so the caramel coats thebottom. Put the ramekins in a roasting pan or a 9-by-13 inch baking pan.
2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium saucepan, add milk and stir in ginger. Heat over medium-high heat until tiny bubbles begin to appear. Do not allow to boil. Remove from heat.
3. Let ginger steep for a few minutes while you prepare the eggs. In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, egg yolks, and remaining 1/2 cup sugar until frothy.
4. Strain milk through a fine sieve into a bowl, discarding the ginger. Gradually add hot milk to the egg mixture, a few tablespoons at a time at first, whisking continually. After about 1/2 cup has been added, pour in the rest of the milk and whisk until smooth. Stir in the vanilla.
5. Carefully pour the custard mixture into the ramekins. Place pan with the ramekins in the oven and pour very hot water into the pan until the water comes about one-third up the sides of the ramekins (called a bain-marie,this helps the custard cook evenly)
6. Bake for about 35 to 40 minutes, or until a knife inserted through the center of the custard comes out clean. Remove ramekins from roasting pan and let cool on a rack for 10 minutes.
7. To serve, run a sharp knife around the edge of each ramekin. Place a plate on top, turn it upside down, and invert the creme caramel onto the plate. Garnish each with a few slivers of crystallized ginger if desired. Serve warm.
Source: Hannaford fresh Magazine, March - April 2012