Spanish desserts continue! Crema Catalana, the Spanish version of a classic crème brûlée is a delightfully light creamy custard infused with citrus and encrusted with a thin crisp layer of perfectly caramelised sugar. Of course, the highlight of any crème brûlée is the very moment you crack that caramelised golden crust and dig in, leaving you with a spoonful of a creamy and crunchy texture that you can’t resist! A simple, indulgent and pretty easy to follow recipe perfect for a hot summer weekend!
PREPARATION TIME: 1 hour, plus chilling time
- 500 ml milk
- 7 large egg yolks
- 1 teaspoon cornflour
- 100 g caster sugar
- Peel of half a lemon
- Peel of half an orange
- 2 small cinnamon sticks
- 1 vanilla pod
In a large saucepan, pour in the milk, add in the lemon and orange peel, cinnamon sticks and bring to a simmer.
Next add in the vanilla seeds, by splitting the pod in half lengthwise and scraping off the seeds. Toss in the vanilla pod as well to enhance the sweetness.
Take the pan off the heat and set aside to infuse the milk with all those lovely flavours for about 15-20 minutes.
Discard away the contents from the milk by straining it through a sieve and set aside.
In another bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, caster sugar and cornflour until it turns pale and slightly fluffy in texture.
Place the saucepan with the milk back on a medium heat.
As it starts to simmer, pour in the egg mixture while whisking continuously for about 5 minutes or until the custard visibly starts to thicken.
Take the saucepan off the heat and set aside to cool.
Once cooled, pour the custard into ramekins or any heatproof bowl you wish to serve it in. Cover the ramekin with a clingfilm and place it in the fridge for a few hours.
Note: Alternatively, these ramekins can be prepared a day in advance and stored in the fridge overnight if you’re short on time.
When you’re ready to serve, get rid of the clingfilm and evenly sprinkle a teaspoon of sugar over the top. Gently caramelise it with the help of a blowtorch until you achieve a burnt amber colour bubbling off the surface.
Let it cool for a few seconds until the sugar hardens and creates a lovely crust and you’re ready to serve it up!
While incorporating the egg yolks into the milk, be sure to continue whisking on a medium heat to prevent the eggs from scrambling and ending up with a curdled custard.
While caramelising the sugar, try to be quick so that you don’t start to heat up the custard.
If you do not own a blowtorch, there are a few alternative methods such as using the grill on high or a flambé with vodka that you’d probably come across. Personally, I’d suggest investing in a blowtorch for the best results and let’s face it it’s pretty fun too!
Note: Since this recipe primarily requires a large quantity of egg yolks, I usually make an egg whites only recipe, like a meringue or a frittata the same day so as to use up all of the eggs without any going to waste. I’ll be posting the recipe for a Spanish egg white frittata up on the blog soon!
If you give this recipe a go, I’d love to see how it turned out. Leave a comment below and share your pictures on Instagram using the tag #thecookbooklife!
Have a lovely weekend!