Special equipment: 8 (6-ounce) ramekins
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
Arrange the ramekins in a roasting pan or baking sheet.
Using a stainless steel pan, combine the turbinado sugar with the water, swirl to blend and heat until it forms a clear syrup. When the sugar and the water have "melted" together completely, raise the heat and watch as the caramel darkens slightly, amber in color. Remove from the heat and immediately divide the caramel evenly between the 8 ramekins. Try to have all the caramel on the bottom of each ramekin and not so much on the sides. Set aside.
In a bowl, whisk together the eggs, granulated sugar and salt. In a medium pot, over medium heat bring the milk to a gentle simmer. Add the vanilla and pour it slowly over the egg mixture, whisking to blend. Distribute the liquid evenly between the 8 ramekins. Put at least 1 1/2 inches of water in the bottom of the roasting pan or baking sheet so it makes a "water bath" for the custards as they cook. Put the roasting pan in the center of the oven and bake until they are firm in the center, 45 to 55 minutes. Allow to cool for 30 minutes and then refrigerate until serving.
When the custards are completely cool, run a knife around the top edge of each ramekin and turn the ramekin upside down on the plate. When you lift it, the caramel at the bottom will pour over the custard and form a delicious pool on the plate, which makes for a fun presentation.
If turbinado sugar is unavailable, replace it with granulated sugar.
Recipe courtesy of Alex Guarnaschelli