Lavender Crème Brulée
Preface: I don’t even like crème brulée
But this. Was. Awesome.
(And the fire!!!!)
Lavender in food can be a hit or miss. Here, it’s a homerun, out of the park, she shoots, she scores, Bingo! It’s not overpowering or soapy, which it often can be, because the cream really mellows out any pungency from the flowers. Let me restate: I don’t like crème brulée. But I will definitely make this again.
Lavender flowers are by no means a common pantry item; however, they are extremely easy to order online, and they’re not expensive at all. I bought a bag for just a few dollars that is going to outlive both me and my children.
Lavender Crème Brulée
Four ingredients = Sweet deal (lit-er-ally!)
ATTN: You will need to put this in the fridge for at least two hours before it’s bruléed. Plan accordingly.
From this recipe:
Makes 6 to 8 servings
Prep time: 20 min, Cook time: 60 min and 2+ hours
4 cups heavy cream
1 tablespoon dried lavender flowers
8 egg yolks
3/4 cup granulated sugar, divided
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Butter (6-ounce) custard cups. Place custard cups in a shallow ovenproof roasting or baking pan.
In a large, heavy saucepan over medium heat, add cream and the lavender flowers; heat just to a simmer. Remove from heat and allow lavender flowers to infuse with the cream for 5 minutes. Test to see if cream has reached desired potency. Strain to remove lavender flowers.
In a large bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and 1/2 cup sugar until light and creamy. Slowly add the slightly cooled cream to the egg mixture, since you want to the eggs to adjust to the heat without cooking. Divide the custard mixture between the custard cups.
The trickiest part is the next step: getting the ceramic dishes into a larger, water-filled baking dish without having water seep into the custard. This will ruin your dessert if it happens. So lock up any hyper-energetic dogs or children.
Bring the water for the water bath, or bain marie, to a light simmer on top of the stove; carefully pour hot water into the baking pan to come half-way up the sides of the custard cups. The water should come up to the level of the custard inside the cups.
Bake 60 minutes or until set around the edges but still loose in the center, which should jiggle when shaken. Time will depend on the size of the custard cups you are using, so begin checking at a half hour.
Remove from oven and leave in the water bath until cooled. Remove from bath and refrigerate at least 2 hours or up to 2 days.
When ready to serve, sprinkle approximately 2 teaspoons of remaining sugar over each crème brulee. Hold your torch 4 to 5 inches from the sugar, maintaining a slow and even motion. Be aware, the sugar will continue to cook for a few seconds after flame has been removed.
If you don’t have a torch, place crème brulees 6 inches below the broiler for 4 to 6 minutes or until sugar bubbles and turns golden brown. Refrigerate crème brulees at least 10 minutes before serving.
My ceramic dish has such a wonderful volume. Every bite I took had a mix of both textures; whereas deeper ceramic dishes would mean more cream and less crunch<- Translated: No thank you boss.