Rosemary creme brûlée

Rosemary creme brûlée

Creme brûlée. Silky smooth and sweet baked custard with a thin and crunchy caramelised sugar top. Here this classic dessert is given a little twist with the gentle infusion of woody rosemary in the cream and in the sugar crust.

Rosemary Creme Brûlée | The Fare Sage

Ah, creme brûlée. One of the all time greatest desserts in my opinion. I’m a terrible superlative over-user and even I run out of words to describe this wonderful pudding. Soft, smooth, creamy and just the right amount of sweet, creme brûlée is one of those dishes that makes you smile when you eat it.

Rosemary Creme Brûlée | The Fare Sage

I feel the same way about rosemary. From a culinary perspective, there’s not much I love more than the woody, sweet scent of rosemary. I have an unnecessary three rosemary plants in my garden and would happily have more if I had room. I love to add rosemary to just about everything I cook that calls for herbs. Though I don’t often use rosemary in sweets, its addition in this creme brûlée works beautifully and was a very pleasant surprise. Likewise the rosemary sugar I made to use for the crust on these brûlée is gorgeous. From now on rosemary will be a regular feature in my dessert recipes.
Rosemary Creme Brûlée | The Fare Sage

Baked egg desserts and I have a chequered past. Brûlée, creme caramel, baked cheesecake – I almost always leave them in the oven too long and end up scrambling the eggs. The flavour is still good but the texture just isn’t right if they’ve been overcooked. I don’t seem to be able to trust that they will set in the fridge.

I had a hankering to make creme brûlée, so I researched cooking time as much as possible and made a promise to myself to stick to it. The first recipe I read had the creme brûlée in the oven for just 30 minutes. Surely thats not long enough! Then I found one that suggested 45 minutes. Hmmm, to me that was getting too close to scrambled egg territory. On and on I read and nearly every recipe had somewhere in between so I settled on 35 minutes at 150C. And I would use a timer this time.

Rosemary Creme Brûlée | The Fare Sage

When the timer chirped, these creme brûlée came out of the oven very wobbly. They spent a nerve-wracking night in the fridge where I constantly had to stop myself poking at one to see if it was set properly. The next day to my delight they felt nice and firm to touch. But once I’d brûlée’d them under the grill (I don’t have a blowtorch) I could tell they were a bit runny again so I put them back in the fridge for an hour to cool again. It was finally time to test one. The tension was palpable. And then….. success!!! The caramelised rosemary sugar on top cracked beautifully, and underneath was a pool of golden, just-set, sweet custard with the most beautiful aroma and taste of rosemary.

Rosemary Creme Brûlée | The Fare Sage

Other than fussing about the timing, these creme brûlée were a wonderfully simple dessert to prepare. Just fifteen minutes easy work then they’re in the oven for just a short time, then in the fridge overnight to set. Couldn’t be more simple. And the rosemary sugar is even simpler. Rosemary, sugar, done.

Rosemary Creme Brûlée

These rosemary creme brûlée were incredibly delicious. The woody scent of the rosemary is a delightfully playful addition to this already spectacular dessert. Trust the recipe with the timing – you’ll be so glad you did when you devour the perfectly just-cooked brûlée.

Yum

Rosemary creme brûlée

Rating 

Cook time: 

Total time: 

Serves: 4

Ingredients
For the custard:
  • 500ml cream
  • ½ vanilla pod
  • 2 10cm stalks fresh rosemary
  • ⅓ cup caster (fine) sugar
  • 5 egg yolks
For the rosemary sugar:
  • ⅓ cup caster (fine) sugar
  • 2 10cm stalks fresh rosemary
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 150C Bake. Fill and boil the kettle.
  2. Place 4 half cup ovenproof ramekins into a high sided roasting pan.
  3. Pour the cream into a heavy based saucepan. Add the rosemary stalks.
  4. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla pod and add the seeds and the pod to the cream.
  5. Heat the cream, rosemary and vanilla over a gentle heat for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally. IMPORTANT: Do not let the mixture boil. You want to get it to the point its steaming and it looks like its about to simmer but not actually have any bubbles breaking the surface.
  6. While the cream is heating, beat the egg yolks and sugar with a whisk in a heatproof bowl until pale and fluffy.
  7. Remove the cream from the heat. Pour a small amount of the cream mixture into the eggs and whisk well. Add the cream a little at a time, whisking after each addition, until all of the cream has been added.
  8. Strain out the vanilla and rosemary by pouring the mixture through a fine sieve into a heatproof jug.
  9. Carefully pour the custard into the ramekins. Place the roasting pan with the ramekins in it into the oven and gently pour boiling water around the ramekins until it comes about half way up the sides.
  10. Bake the custards for 35 minutes.
  11. Carefully remove the roasting pan from the oven. The custard will still look quite wobbly. Using oven mitts or tea towels gently lift the custards out of the water bath and set aside to cool for about 30 minutes.
  12. Once cooled, put the custards in the fridge to set overnight.
To make the rosemary sugar:
  1. Place the remaining two rosemary stalks into a shallow container and sprinkle over the caster sugar. Cover and store in the pantry overnight.
To brûlée the top of the pudding:
  1. About an hour before serving, remove the ramekins from the fridge and place them on a baking tray. Position an oven rack near the top of the oven and preheat the grill on high. Sprinkle each brûlée with a teaspoon or two of rosemary sugar and gently smooth it to an even layer using the back a spoon. Slide the brûlées under the grill and cook for 3-4 minutes until the sugar is caramelised (watch them very carefully to ensure they don't burn). Take the baking tray out of the oven and return the brûlée to the fridge until ready to serve. Alternatively, if you have a blowtorch you can use this to caramelise the sugar.
Notes
If you don't have a vanilla pod, use a half tsp of good quality ]vanilla bean paste instead.

I’ve also shared this recipe over at Saucy Saturdays – come and check it out!

Rosemary Creme Brûlée | The Fare Sage


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