Preheat oven to 325F.
Make Caramelized Sugar: Place 1 cup sugar in heavy skillet; cook over low to medium heat, with- out stirring, until sugar has melted and begins to form a light-brown syrup; stir to blend.
Use at once to coat a 1-1/2-quart casserole: Hold with pot holder, and slowly pour in hot syrup.
Turn and rotate until bottom and side are thoroughly coated.
Make Custard: In medium saucepan, over medi- um heat, heat milk just until bubbles form around edge of pan.
In large bowl, with rotary beater, beat eggs slightly.
Add 1/2 cup sugar, the salt, and vanilla.
Gradually add hot milk, stirring constantly.
Pour into prepared dish.
Place in shallow pan; pour hot water to 1/2-inch level around dish.
Bake 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until silver knife inserted deep into the center of custard comes out clean.
Cool; refrigerate overnight.
To serve: Run small spatula around edge of dish to loosen.
Invert onto shallow serving dish; shake gently to release.
The caramel will serve as a sauce.
Makes 8 servings