Chef Dina

Now available for Bay Area full service catering in conjunction with "A Fork Full of Earth" organic catering, intimate dinner parties and weekly meal preparation.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Lavender creme brulee

This is really simple, and a house favorite. The only hard part about it is going and getting the little blow torch if you don't already have one. Also, most people I know don't have a bunch of ramekins sitting around. If you like to entertain a lot, they are worth getting.

I pick up the lavender flowers at the San Rafael market for 5 bucks a scoop. You can also get them at Berkeley Bowl (or probably any other health food store) in the beauty section, probably in between the alfalfa seeds and chamomile flowers- or something like that.

1 qt (4 C) heavy cream
3 heaping tablespoons lavender flowers

Put flowers in a pot with the cream and bring almost to a boil. Turn heat off and cover and steep- the longer the better. strain into a pitcher (it's easier to pour into the eggs if it's in a pitcher).

6 egg yolks
scant 1/2 sugar
1 t vanilla (or throw a scraped vanilla pod in with the cream and flowers if you have one)

Whisk together in a bowl until pale yellow and slowly temper in the flowery cream. Mix well and pour the mixture back into the pitcher. Let the mixture sit for a minute, then skim all the foamy bubbles off the top.

Put 9-10 ramekins in your biggest rectangular .pan (like a brownie pan) and pour some water in the pan so it comes about halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Fill the ramekins with the custard. I like to quickly run the torch over the top to burn off any air bubbles to ensure a nice even surface. Bake about 300-325 for 50-60 minutes. They will be a little bit jiggly when you take them out, but they will set up in the frig. Remove from water bath and cool. Chill for a few hours. Everyone's oven is different. Mine has intense heat from the top, so I have to set the temp a little lower and put them on the bottom rack, and cover the top rack with tin foil so the tops don't burn. You might have to make 2 batches ;) I always do at first. Even if they do brown a little, the sugar should cover it up.

Spread a scant teaspoon of sugar over the top so it lies evenly and burn it quickly with a little blow torch. You can pick up a little handheld butane thing at Sur La Table or any store like that. You can also get a big butane torch at the hardware store- that's what I use.
Decorate and enjoy!

1 comment:

  1. Yum - I invited Rosemary to follow your blog because she wanted this recipe. I will try it sometime this summer :-)