Crema Catalana is often likened to the French Crème brûlée but is a bit lighter. Personally, it’s not something I would enjoy, but Alan has a sweet tooth – so it puts a smile on his face. Enjoy this very simple Spanish recipe, but go careful not to let the milk burn.
- 450 ml milk
- 1 cinnamon stick
- Rind of 1 medium sized unwaxed lemon (keep in large pieces to make it easier to fish out later, but don’t use the pith as it is bitter tasting)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4 egg yolks
- 1 rounded tablespoon cornflour
- 450 grams of fine white sugar
In a medium sized saucepan, slowly bring the milk, cinnamon stick, grated lemon rind, and vanilla extract to a boil.
Simmer gently for a few minutes
Strain into a bowl, to remove the cinnamon stick and lemon rind and set aside. Then pour the liquid back into the saucepan, but don’t put it back on the heat yet.
In a separate bowl, whisk the egg yolks together with the cornflour and about three-quarters of the sugar until the mixture is creamy with no lumps.
Very slowly, pour this mixture into the saucepan with the milk mixture, stirring constantly.
Slowly heat the liquid until it starts to thicken – but be really careful not to let it boil, or it will leave a burnt taste.
Once thickened, pour it into shallow heatproof serving dishes (the image shows the terracotta dishes so common in Spain – perfect for this recipe), allow it to cool, and then pop it into the fridge for a few hours.
When you are ready to serve it… heat up your grill and sprinkle the remainder of the sugar evenly over each dish. Place the dishes under the grill until the sugar topping begins to caramelize and brown. Serve immediately. You can use one of those kitchen blowtorches for this step if you prefer.
Because you need to chill it for several hours, it is an ideal dessert for dinner parties… as you can prepare it way in advance.
Elle, along with Alan, is the owner of Spain Buddy and the busy web design business – Spain Web Design by Gandy-Draper.
Born a “Norverner”, she then spent most of her life “Dann Saff” before moving to Spain in 2006. Elle’s loves are Alan, the internet, dogs, good food, and dry white wine – although not necessarily in that order.