Friday, June 17, 2022

Lavender Créme Brûlée Recipe

Textures and flavors collide beautifully in this ever-classy dessert recipe.  The addition of culinary lavender adds a floral dimension that will transport you to the lavender fields with each richly creamy and crunchy spoonful.

Lavender Créme Brûlée Recipe from Pelindaba Lavender

Lavender Créme Brûlée


Makes six servings using 8 ounce ramekins. Just about any small dish could be used as long as it is oven-safe and all dishes are similar sizes for equal baking time.

Lavender Créme Brûlée Recipe from Pelindaba Lavender

Step 1 —  Preheat the oven to 325º and move the rack to the middle of the oven.

Step 2 —  Gently grind or crush the lavender buds to release the delicate flavor.

Step 3 —  Bring the cream, vanilla and lavender to a boil in a saucepan, stirring occasionally.  Remove from heat and let sit for 20-25 minutes to cool.  Strain the mixture to remove the lavender.

Step 4 —  In a medium bowl whip the egg yolks and incorporate the sugar into the egg yolks 1/4 cup at a time until the egg yolks turn a soft lemon color and the mixture thickens slightly.  

Step 5 —  Slowly stir the cream mixture into the egg yolks until combined.

Step 6 —  Place the ramekins in a roasting pan.  Fill the ramekins to just below the brim.

Step 7 —  Fill the roasting pan with hot water so that the water is halfway up the sides of the ramekins.  Carefully place the roasting pan on the middle rack in the oven.

Step 8 —  Bake for 40-50 minutes.  The crème will not fully set, it will jiggle in the middle like a soft jello when it is done.

Step 9 —  Remove the ramekins from the roasting pan and place in the refrigerator to cool for 3 hours or overnight (cover if chilling overnight).

Step 10 —  Remove the ramekins from the refrigerator and let them sit for 10-20 minutes to warm up slightly before finishing.  Evenly sprinkle 1-2 tablespoons of sugar on the top of each ramekin.

Step 11 —  Using a torch, brown the sugar until it has formed a crispy, golden-brown top using a side to side sweeping motion. See note below if you don't have a torch.

Lavender Créme Brûlée Recipe from Pelindaba Lavender

Step 12 —  Return the ramekins to the fridge for another 10-15 minutes before serving to allow the sugar to harden.

Garnish with a sprig of lavender and serve with a cup of after-dinner coffee.  Enjoy the delightful first cracking of the caramelized sugar and each delicious spoonful thereafter!

Lavender Créme Brûlée Recipe from Pelindaba Lavender

Note: If you don't have a torch the crispy top can be created using your oven broiler.  Place a rack 4-6" below the broiler.  Preheat broiler on high for 5-10 minutes.  Place the ramekins on a baking sheet.  Broil for 5-10 minutes, or until the sugar melts completely and most of it caramelizes.  Watch carefully to ensure the sugar does not burn.  Rotate the pan occasionally for even browning.  Cool on a wire rack for 1 minute to allow the sugar to harden.

If you are new to cooking with lavender, it's a wonderful herb to explore on both the savory and sweet side of the palate.  On the sweet side, we'd recommend trying summer strawberries with Lavender Whipped Cream — a delicious, fresh treat.  For a savory, comfort-food recipe, try Risotto Style Yukon Gold Potatoes with Lavender and Rosemary (not eating the entire pan is very difficult!).

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