Creme brulee, burnt cream, Trinity cream… this classic dessert has had many names but remains a deliciously elegant way to finish a meal. In Emma Macdonald’s recipe, the sweet creamy custard is matched with the tart flavour of rhubarb, and it;s best made a day in advance (which means you don’t have to rush after the main course). Who could possibly turn down rhubarb and custard?
Rhubarb and Custard Creme Brulee Recipe
Preparation Time :15 minutes, plus chilling
Cooking time:45 minutes
For the Creme Brulee
300ml/10½fl oz/scant 1¼ cups double cream 1 vanilla pod, split lengthways 4 large egg yolks 2 tbsp caster sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
For the Rhubarb Compôte
200g/7oz rhubarb, cut into chunks 2 tbsp caster sugar 2 tbsp orange juice
1. Preheat the oven to 170°C/325°F/Gas 3. First make the rhubarb compôte. Mix the rhubarb, sugar and orange juice in a non-metallic pan. Bring to the boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar, then turn the heat down and simmer for 10–12 minutes until the rhubarb is tender and has broken down. Leave to cool.
2. Heat the cream in a pan with the vanilla pod until it almost comes to the boil.
3. Meanwhile, in a mixing bowl, whisk the egg yolks with the sugar until pale, then whisk in the hot cream. Strain the custard through a sieve into a jug. (Rinse the vanilla pod, dry well and insert into a jar of sugar to make vanilla sugar.)
4. Spoon the rhubarb into four 170ml/5½fl oz/⅔ cup ramekins. Pour the custard over the top until almost to the top of the ramekins. Put the ramekins in a roasting tin and pour in enough just-boiled water to come halfway up the sides. Bake for 20–25 minutes or until the top of the custard is just set. Remove from the oven and leave to cool. Cover with cling film and chill overnight (or a minimum of 2 hours, if you can’t wait).
5. Preheat the grill to high. Sprinkle a thin layer of caster sugar over each custard and place under the hot grill until the sugar bubbles and starts to caramelize. You can use a blowtorch but take care either way as the sugar can easily burn. Leave the sugar to harden and cool slightly, then serve your creme brulee immediately.
Having grown up on the family’s delicious, homemade Cucumber Relish, Emma Macdonald had the simple idea that full-flavored, quality chutneys and preserves needed to be brought to the specialty sector. In The BayTree Home Deli Recipes she reveals all her deli-ingredient making secrets and shows you how to create delicious meals from them.
“These days, staying in is the new going out, and homemade deli is the way to eat gourmet!”
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