RECIPE: Crème brûlée and crème brûlée with fruit topping.
DIARY: The chore of moving files around.
I am in the process of shutting down nigelnapierandrews.com and moving all the articles to gentlemansportion.com but there is a downside. I haven’t discovered a way to move files without everyone getting a notification by email, Facebook or whatever. One day I moved six files and several of my dear readers threatened to disconnect.
So this is just fair warning that over the next few weeks I am going to be moving all my recipe files over to this site and I promise not to move more than one file a day to spare my readers overload anguish.
On top of that there are some new stories coming. The new articles will show up in the headline and the old stories will be filed by original date order. All recipes can be accessed under “Market to Table.” Just be prepared for the onslaught!
In the meantime, folks, there’s food to cook.
Friends are coming for supper and just as I’m checking I have all the ingredients for my main course (a cheesy version of seafood pie as it happens), I realize I haven’t planned a dessert. It’s a Monday, so dashing down to Frangipani on the Dupont strip is out and I don’t feel like the long hike over to the Summerhill market, the only other place in mid-town Toronto to get great desserts. I’ll have to pull something together with what’s in the fridge. Eggs, cream, bluberries and sugar.
Sounds like a good excuse for crème brûlée, with some berries for the topping. Fortunately, I have also filled up my little butane torch, a great present from my eldest daughter some while ago. Using the broiler to caramelize the sugar is not really a good option. Best to run over to the hardware store and get an inexpensive torch. Under the broiler the sugar often turns to toffee, rather than a crisp crunchy layer on top of the rich, creamy custard.
by Nigel Napier-Andrews
Prep: 15 min
Inactive: 2 hr 15 min
Cook: 1 hr
- 2 cups (500 ml) heavy cream
- 1 tsp vanilla essence
- 1/2 cup vanilla sugar, divided
- 3 large egg yolks
Preparation and cooking
- Preheat the oven to 325F/160C.
- Pour the cream into a saucepan over medium-high heat, add 1 tsp vanilla essence and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat, cover and allow to sit for 15 minutes.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together 1/4 cup sugar and the egg yolks until well blended. Add the cream a little at a time, stirring continually. Pour the liquid into 6 half-cup ramekins. Place the ramekins into a large cake pan or roasting pan. Pour enough hot water into the pan to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Bake just until the crème brûlée is set, but still trembling in the center, approximately 40 to 45 minutes. Remove the ramekins from the roasting pan, allow to cool, then and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 3 days.
- Remove the crème brûlée from the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes prior to browning the sugar on top. Divide the remaining 1/4 cup sugar equally among the six dishes and spread evenly on top with the back of a spoon. Using a butane torch, melt the sugar to make a crispy top. Allow the crème brûlée to sit for at least five minutes before serving.
- Add some berries while the sugar is still hot for a delicious and decorative touch.
Tip: To ensure the sugar doesn’t burn when you apply the torch, spritz the sugar on top of the custard with a fine mist of water.
In the photograph, the pot on the left has been caramelized and the two on the right have been spritzed with mist awaiting the torch. This step is taken after the custard has cooled awhile.
Categories: Market to Table