These smooth and creamy crème brûlée desserts are easy to make and taste wonderful with tart blood oranges when in season.
- 6 egg yokes (at room temp)
- 600ml heavy cream
- 100ml milk
- ½ cup caster sugar
- 1 blood orange, zested
- 1 vanilla bean pod (seeds scraped)
- Pinch salt
- Boiling water
For the caramelized blood oranges:
- 3 blood oranges sliced with the skin removed
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 60ml water
Pre-heat the oven to 160°. Fill a large deep baking tray with boiling water up to 25cm deep and place in the middle rack of the oven.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the egg yokes and half of the caster sugar, set aside while the cream is made.
Combine the cream, milk, blood orange zest, the remaining caster sugar and the scraped vanilla bean, as well as the bean pod into a medium saucepan on medium heat. Stir gently while it comes up to a low simmer then take it off the heat and let it sit for a few minutes while the vanilla infuses. Skim off any bubbles or thick cream that has come to the surface and remove the vanilla bean pod.
Add a ladle at a time of the cream mixture into the egg yoke bowl while continuously whisking to prevent the yokes becoming cooked and turning lumpy. Repeat the process until both mixtures are well combined and are a smooth consistency (strain it if lumps appear).
Skim off any bubbles and thick cream that has settled on the surface again. Ladle into 4 small ramekins and fill up to the lip line on the inside under the edge of the ramekin.
Gently place the ramekin into the prepared water bath in the oven, be carful not to allow any splash’s going into the custards. Add more boiling water if needed to fill up 2/3 side of the ramekins. Bake for 28-30 minutes.
When ready, the custards should have a little jiggle, and spring back when you lightly press the center with your finger. If the center is still very liquid place them back in the oven for a few more minutes. If they are very firm and over cooked don’t worry, as they will still taste wonderful.
Take them out of the water bath and allow them to cool completely before placing them in the fridge to chill for 1-2hr.
Remove any pips or white flesh from the orange slices with a paring knife, this will prevent bitterness. Place the sugar and water into a medium saucepan on medium heat; swirl the saucepan to dissolve the sugar. Once it becomes a golden brown colour, gently add in the orange slices, spoon the liquid over the slices to coat both sides. Take it off the heat and let it stand for 10mins to cool down.
When you’re ready to serve, sprinkle 1 teaspoon of the granulated sugar over the top of the crème brûlée’s. Using a flame torch or a jet lighter, torch across the top of the brûlée at about 10cm away so as to not burn the sugar. Do this process in two parts to prevent the custard warming up to much and to prevent the sugar burning and becoming bitter.
If you don’t have a flame torch warm up the oven broiler, place the brûlée’s on a baking tray with the broiler est 30cm away from the top of the brûlée’s; it can burn very quickly so it's best to keep an eye on them while the sugar melts and to prevent the custards warming up. Set them aside to harden for 5 minutes before serving.
Serve with the blood orange slices layered over the top to one side and a spoon to crack the hardened sugar layer.
Serve: 4 small ramekins
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 45minutes
Chill time: 1-2 hrs
N.B The custards can be made a day before, the top sugar layer can be done just before serving.