It’s time for a truly joyful dessert – serve up this festive brûlée to your family and friends and they will be extremely happy people…
600ml double cream
Finely grated zest of 6 medium tangerines
3 free range eggs
5 free range egg yolks
165g brown sugar
120ml fresh tangerine juice
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Place ten ceramic ramekins in a roasting pan. Add hot water to the pan until it reaches about three-quarters of the way up the sides of the ramekins. Remove the ramekins from the water and place the roasting pan in the oven. Set the ramekins aside.
2. In a saucepan, combine the cream and tangerine zest. Over a medium heat, warm the cream to scalding point, stirring occasionally.
3. In a medium bowl, lightly whisk together the eggs and egg yolks. Whisk in 110g of the brown sugar and the tangerine juice. Pour the egg mixture into the cream, stirring constantly. Add the salt and vanilla extract. Strain the custard through a fine-mesh sieve into a container that is easy to pour from.
4. Divide the custard evenly among the ramekins – each one should be about three-quarters full. Open the oven door and carefully place the filled ramekins in the hot water bath.
5. Bake the custards for 25 to 30 minutes, or until they are just set (make sure not to overcook them – better under done than over). Remove the ramekins from the water bath and place them on a kitchen cloth. Allow the custards to cool for about 20 minutes, then refrigerate them until they are thoroughly chilled. (The custards will keep for up to 5 days in the refrigerator.)
6. Reduce the oven temperature to 300°F (150C°). Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Spread the remaining 55g brown sugar into an even, thin layer on the sheet pan. Bake until the sugar starts to dry out (about 5 minutes). Remove from the oven, allow to cool, then roll the sugar with a rolling pin to break it up into granules again. Set aside in an airtight container until you are ready to serve the crème brûlées.
7. Sprinkle the brown sugar in a thin, even layer on the tops of the custards. Pass a culinary blow torch over the custards with quick swirling motions until the sugar melts and burns slightly.
*Recipe taken from Bountiful by Todd Porter and Diane Cu (£21.99, Stewart Tabori & Chang).
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