Crema Catalana

Crema Catalana

This Spanish version of a creme brulee is the perfect ending to a tapas meal. Smooth creamy custard topped with crunchy caramelised sugar with a hint of warmth from the lemon and cinnamon…oh yeah!

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups full cream milk
  • rind of half a lemon
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon powder or 1 cinnamon stick
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 3 tbsp caster (superfine) sugar
  • 4 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tbsp cornflour
Method:

  1. Put the milk in a saucepan with the lemon rind and cinnamon over medium heat. Bring to a boil then simmer for 10 minutes. Remove the lemon rind and cinnamon stick (if you used a cinnamon stick).
  2. Meanwhile, put the egg yolks and 3 tbsp caster sugar in a bowl and whisk until pale yellow and creamy. Add the cornflour and mix well.
  3. Stir a few tablespoons of the hot milk into the egg yolk mix, then pour it all back into the remaining milk in the saucepan. Return it to the heat and cook gently (do not boil), stirring continuously with a whisk for about 5 minutes or until it has thickened and smooth.
  4. Pour the custard into 4 shallow ovenproof dishes. Leave to cool to room temperature, about 1 hour or chill overnight.
  5. About 20 minutes before serving, sprinkle each dish with 1 tbsp of brown sugar. Preheat the grill to high. Place the dishes under the grill and cook until the sugar caramelises to a deep golden brown. This should only take a few seconds so be careful not to burn the sugar otherwise it will be bitter. Don’t worry if the caramelisation is uneven, this is quite normal.
  6. Let the custards cool for a few minutes before serving.