Sunday, 8 August 2010

Passion fruit crème brulée

Today's simple brulée is the opposite of yesterday's meringue frippery.

No need for elaborate decoration here; the pleasure of this pudding is all in the contrast between the seductive crack of the caramel and the silken custard beneath. Adding a dash of passion fruit juice gives a subtle fruitiness that lightens the cream.

Serves 4

300ml double cream
230ml whole milk
½ tsp vanilla essence
the sieved juice of two large passionfruit
5 large egg yolks
50g caster sugar, and a little more for the top

1) Preheat the oven to 350f/180c/gas mark 4. Whisk the egg yolks and sugar in a large bowl for a minute until it has turned pale.

2) Pour the milk and cream into a pan and bring almost to the boil, then whisk gradually into the egg mixture. Stir in the passionfruit juice and vanilla. Skim any froth off the top.

3) Spoon the mixture into 4 ramekins, then place these in a deep roasting tin. Pour hot water into the tin to come an inch up the side of the ramekins, then bake for 35 minutes. When they are done they should still have a bit of wobble in the centre.

4) Remove the ramekins from the water and leave to cool, then chill in the fridge for at least a few hours.

5) An hour before serving, sprinkle a teaspoon of caster sugar evenly over the top of each brulée, then either use a blowtorch or a scorchingly hot grill to caramelise the tops.

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