Crema Catalana is like Crème Brûlée but in my opinion better and easier to make.
I like both Crème Brûlée and Crema Catalana. Both desserts are similar in composition, being essentially a sweet custard topped with a crust of crystallized sugar.
One is French, the other Spanish, but both claim to be the original.
1691 sees the first published recipe for Crème Brûlée but Spanish sources say that Crema Catalana originated somewhere between the 5th and 15th centuries?
Take your pick who did it first, but custard topped with a caramelised sugar crust is the dog’s doodahs as far as I’m concerned. Followed by a nice Cortado coffee, heaven.
If you fancy a classic British pudding try Eton Mess.
- 240 ml milk
- 1 strip orange peel not zest
- 1 strip lemon peel not zest
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 2 Egg yolks
- 3 tablespoon sugar fine/regular will work
- ½ tablespoon corn starch corn flour
- 2 tablespoon superfine sugar to top
Ahead of time
- Gently warm the milk over a medium-low heat in a small saucepan with the pieces of orange and lemon peel and the cinnamon stick to infuse it.
- Meanwhile, whisk together the egg yolks, sugar and corn starch (corn flour).
- Take the lemon and orange peel and cinnamon out of the milk. Gradually add the egg mixture into the warm milk, whisking as you go to ensure you don’t get scrambled egg lumps. I usually take it off the heat to do this to help avoid heating the egg too much.
- Put the pan back on a low heat and warm, stirring constantly until it is just thickening.
- Pour into individual ramekins (or ceramic dish), let cool then refrigerate at least 4 hours, or overnight. I’d recommend covering with cling wrap against the surface to avoid it forming a thick skin.
When ready to serve
- Sprinkle fine sugar evenly over the top then melt the sugar either with a blowtorch or under a broiler (grill) to form a sugar crust.