Crème brûlée has a wow-factor unequaled by its difficulty. Yes it’s a bit of bother sitting about waiting for it to cook and cool, but its preparation is dead simple, and it’s darn cheap cooking to boot.
Every time I open the cupboard housing my brûlée ramekins my husband appears expectantly. He has a psychic Pavlovian link to these little dishes, inciting instant wishy thinking and rumbling tum. Nine times out of ten I’m not making brûlée, and he shuffles sadly back to his man-cave. But yesterday we were having guests, and like clockwork he was in the kitchen the second the crème was in the pots. I can’t tell you how amusing I find this new-found power.
If you’re making the meringues this crème brûlée takes about day to prepare, what with baking and cooling and whatnot. If you’re making them for a dinner party you could make the meringues and/or crème brûlée a day ahead to make things easier. If you have a family member who is particularly smitten with the crème brûlée, make sure you leverage it for something you want readers, like a foot massage.
- Makes: 3 x 125mL brûlée plus 8 meringues
- Preparation time: 2 hours (1 for brûlée, 1 for meringues)
- Cooking time: up to 7 hours (up to 80 mins for brûlée, 5.5 hours for meringues)
Raspberry Crème Brûlée
- 3 egg yolks
- 300mL cream
- 1 vanilla pod, seeds only
- 1.5 tbsp caster sugar
- 1.5 tbsp brown sugar
- 100gm raspberries
- 3 tsp caster sugar for brulee
- 3 egg whites
- 3/4 cup caster sugar
- 1 tsp vinegar
- 2 tbsp cornflour
Step 1: Bake the crème brûlée
Preheat the oven to 150C (302F).
Heat the cream and vanilla in a small saucepan. When the cream begins to froth at the edges remove from heat.
In a bowl beat the eggs and sugars until light and creamy. Slowly beat in the cream. Return the mixture to the saucepan and heat slowly to thicken, stirring constantly. When the mixture coats the back of a spoon, remove from heat.
In a bowl beat or mash the raspberries to a paste. Stir into the custard, then strain into a jug to remove the seeds.
Pour the custard into three ramekins. Pop the ramekins into a baking tray and fill the tray with boiling water to create a bain marie. Cover loosely with foil (make sure steam can escape) and bake until just set:
- wide flat ramekins – 40 minutes
- deep ramekins – 60 to 80 minutes
Remove from oven and cool slightly. Refrigerate until set – between 2 and 4 hours.
Step 2: Bake the meringues
Reduce the oven temperature to 110C (230F).
Beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Beat in the sugar a tablespoon at a time, then beat the mixture for a further two minutes, until it has a silky sheen. Quickly beat in the vinegar and cornflour.
On a baking sheet covered with baking paper, pipe the mixture into rounds, spacing them about 3cm apart.
Bake for 2.5 hours, then switch off the oven and leave the meringues in there to cool for about 3 hours.
Step 3: Plate up and serve
Just before serving, evenly spread 1 tsp of caster sugar over the top of each crème brûlée. Caramelise with a culinary blow torch, or pop under a grill (set to the highest heat) for a few minutes.
Plate up with a meringue and fresh raspberries and serve. Délicieux!