Saturday, March 24, 2012

Crema Catalana (Burnt Custard)

If you walk through the Latin quarter in Barcelona, a  city located in Catalunya, in Spain,

This dessert is served specially on March 19th, St. Joseph´s Day, or Father´s Day.
Some believe that the dessert was mentioned in a catalan book written in 1324, called Llibre de Sent Sovi, (this has been contradicted, however) and that it was once called Llet Cuita. Others tell the story that nuns burned their famous flan by accident, and served it that way to a visiting bishop.

The recipe is:
4 egg yolks
2 cups of milk
1 stick of cinnamon
Rind of 1/2 lemon
20 g cornstarch
100 g sugar

I got the recipe from:
Crema Catalana and caramelized sugar disks, next to a Spanish knight miniature.
As I don´t have a blowtorch, I tried different methods for burning the cream, that I found on a couple of websites. The one that finally worked was to cut out aluminum foil disks the size of the surface of the custard, cover them with both white and brown granulated sugar, and broil in a small toaster oven for 5 minutes (check it at about 3 minutes). Take it out of the oven, let it cool, then peel off the foil. 

 Set a caramel disk on top of your custard and voilá! It no longer looks like a plain pudding, but has been disguised as a crema catalana (which is what it is, anyway).


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