Want an amazing Creme Brulee recipe that you can actually make yourself?
Growing up in Spain, our desserts were lighter and smaller portioned; yet, hugely satisfying. My favorite dessert has got to be my grandmother’s custard Crèma Catalana. The recipe is still written down on a post-it in my recipe binder. Every Christmas Eve, I host a dinner at my house for family and friends.
Last year, I pulled my grandmother’s basic recipe out, and the Crèmas were an instant hit. This fall, I’ve experimented a bit since I roasted an entire pumpkin and I have a lot of pumpkin puree left. The result: a delicious dish that is so satisfying, it will be a hit when you make it.
The caramelized sugar crust is totally optional; but don’t I just look like I’m having a blast with the blowtorch? I tell you, I go all out over at the MOMables kitchen! That torch is actually a plumber’s version and not the foodie gourmet one you get for $20 at the store. It was left over from one of my husband’s projects years ago!
Courtesy of MOMables™ Abuela’s Recipe Stash Yield: 6 – 7 Ramekins (depending on size)
3 cups half & half
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ cup pumpkin puree
6 large egg yolks
½ cup granulated sugar, plus 6 tablespoons for browning tops
Preheat the oven to 350F. Place the ramekins on a cookie sheet (with sides), and fill with enough water so that it comes halfway up the sides of the ramekins (water bath).
In a 2-quart pot, heat the half & half, vanilla, cinnamon, and pumpkin puree over medium heat.
Place the egg yolks and 1/2 cup sugar in a small bowl. Mix until you achieve a pale yellow color, and the sugar has dissolved.
Remove the pot from the heat, and slowly whisk while you incorporate the egg mixture into the half & half mixture. Whisk continuously until both mixtures are well combined.
Fill each ramekin with the mixture, but do not overfill. This yields enough for six (5-ounce) oval ramekins (gratin dishes).
Place the pan in the oven on the middle rack, and bake for 30 to 35 minutes. To test for doneness, jiggle the pan to see if the custard is set (pudding like). If so, remove, and let it cool on the counter before refrigerating overnight (you can make these up to 3 days ahead of time).
Optional: Before serving, spread 1 tablespoon of sugar on each ramekin, and, using a blowtorch, caramelize the sugar to form a candy coating. Don’t have a blowtorch? That’s okay, these are delicious without the added sugar.
Want an orange-flavored cake that isn’t overpowering?
My grandmother, fabulous in everything she did in the kitchen, could have owned a bakery business. If there is one thing she taught me well how to do, it’s to take a basic recipe and add things to make it my own. Her basic cake recipe has enough ingredients in there to make you think it takes a lot of time, when it really doesn’t.
A long time ago, I needed to bring a cake to a friend’s house, and I ran out of cake flour. So in a pinch, I borrowed a box of yellow cake mix from my neighbor, and called it a day. I know, I know, I don’t do boxed anything, but once a year, it’s okay to make it semi-homemade. Right? The result was a super-moist and delicious cake where the orange flavor is present but not overpowering. Doesn’t it look delicious?