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Crema Catalana

Photo: Jonny Valiant; Styling: Deborah Williams
Yield 6 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 3 (3 x 1-inch) strips fresh lemon rind
  • 1 (2-inch) cinnamon stick
  • 7 tablespoons sugar, divided
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 3 large egg yolks

Nutrition Information

  • calories 142
  • fat 4.9 g
  • satfat 2.3 g
  • monofat 1.6 g
  • polyfat 0.5 g
  • protein 3.9 g
  • carbohydrate 21 g
  • fiber 0.0 g
  • cholesterol 111 mg
  • iron 0.3 mg
  • sodium 86 mg
  • calcium 103 mg

How to Make It

  1. Heat milk over medium-high heat in a small heavy saucepan to 180° or until tiny bubbles form around edge (do not boil). Remove from heat. Add rind and cinnamon; cover and let stand 30 minutes. Discard rind and cinnamon.

  2. Combine 1/4 cup sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a small bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Add 1/4 cup milk to sugar mixture, stirring until smooth. Return milk mixture to pan; cook over medium-low heat 7 minutes or until almost thick, stirring constantly with a whisk. Place egg yolks in a small bowl. Gradually pour one-third of hot milk mixture into yolks, stirring constantly with a whisk. Carefully return yolk mixture to pan. Cook over low heat 4 minutes or until a thermometer registers 180°, stirring constantly with a whisk. Divide custard evenly among 6 (4-ounce) custard cups; press plastic wrap against surface of custard. Chill at least 4 hours.

  3. Remove plastic; discard. Sprinkle remaining 3 tablespoons sugar evenly over custards. Holding a kitchen blowtorch about 2 inches from the top of each custard, heat the sugar, moving the torch back and forth, until sugar is completely melted and caramelized (about 1 minute). Serve immediately or within 1 hour.