Saturday, 25 May 2013

Lemon crème brûlée

Though our kitchen in Spain is armed with all sorts of goodies, in addition to that pasta machine it also lacks something else: a blowtorch. Which is a big deficit when one is taken over by longing for Bonaparte's bakery and a craving for crème brûlée. 

Though I like to think I'm fairly open-minded and willing to try new things, when it comes to menus, I'm somewhat predictable. My friend, the Tzatziki champion laughs how I always seem to go for duck. When it comes to desserts, I'm even more pathetic: if it's on the menu, it will be on my plate. Crème brûlée, that is. 

Today we made some ourselves from the anxiety-ridden lemons from our garden (well, the use of plural is somewhat unnecessary - this year's harvest: one lemon). And to go with the lemony notes, I added raspberries. And Finnish salty liquorice- flavoured hard candy called Turkinpippuri. And yes, another version featured rosemary, also from our own garden...

And the leftover egg whites can be used for meringues!

6 portions

1 dl milk
3,5 dl cream
1/2 vanilla pod
4 yolks
2 tsp lemon zest
1/2 dl sugar

optional: raspberries, rosemary, Turkinpippuri- sweets

Split the vanilla pod in half and scrape out the seeds. Bring cream and milk with vanilla seeds and pod added to them to boil in a pan. In a bowl whisk yolks and sugar together into a pale yellow, thick foam. Let the cream mixture cool a little and pour it into the eggs through a sieve in a thin stream. Add the finely grated lemon zest. Pour into shallow ramekins, place in a deep oven dish and pour boiling water into the dish so it reaches halfway up the ramekins. Bake in 190° for 20- 25 minutes until the mixture has set. Let cool  and set in the fridge for several hours - preferably until the next day. Right before serving sprinkle a thin layer of dark sugar on top and burn it until there's a crisp surface - either with a blowtorch or under the grill for a few minutes.

Some recipes advice the puddings to be cooked in 100° for 50- 60 minutes. Opinions/ comments/ experiences as to which way is the best way are welcome!

For variety add some raspberries (gooood), a teaspoon of chopped rosemary (even better!) or a couple of crushed Turkinpippuri sweets (insanely goooood!) into the dishes before they go into the oven.

And while on the topic of pasta machines - the voting in the Finnish foodbloggers' monthly food challenge has begun and lasts until May 30th. This month's theme was spinach and our entry  is spinach and ricotta raviolis (pinaatti-ricotta raviolit in Finnish) - you can vote them here!

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