Introduction: Passion Fruit Creme Brulee

I'm not really a big dessert person but watching the summer food competition entries come in on whilst on a camping holiday I became really frustrated because we were restricted to things you could cook on a hob and were quite rustic in nature due to the lack of equipment.

We are back now so I am at last able to spend a little time preparing a lovely evening meal for the family and these easy passion fruit crème brulees will be our dessert.

Years ago when I first left home and started to cook for myself, these were one of the first desserts that I made for me and my lovely wife . . .

Step 1: Ingredients

To make this lovely crème brulee you will need the following ingredients:

  • 6 large passion fruit
  • 7 large egg yolks
  • 150g (5 oz) of golden caster sugar
  • 400 ml (14 fl oz) double cream
  • 55 ml (2 fl oz) milk

Step 2: Prepare the Passion Fruit

Passion fruit are ripe when the skins wrinkles so my tip is that when you go shopping for them, pick the ones that look the most unappealing. This afternoon when I went to the supermarket most were lovely and smooth so although there were plenty to buy, there were only 4 worth buying if I wanted to use them immediately. A couple of fruits short of the stated number for the recipe but it will still be nice but not quite as strongly flavoured.

So having bought the passion fruit and returned home, cut each of them in half and scoop out all the seeds and juice into a mixing bowl. You want as much of that yummy flavour so I even go to the point of scraping anything that ends up on the cutting board.

Step 3: Egg Yolks and Sugar

Now you need to add 7 egg yolks and 75 grams (3 ounce) of sugar to the passion fruit pulp.

For those who have never separated egg whites from egg yolks then I can recommend the following technique:

Crack the egg, split the shell into 2 pieces over the bowl that will hold the egg whites. As you finally break apart the 2 halves of the egg, move one half to be lower than the other and you should find that a lot of the egg white falls away leaving the yolk in the one egg half. If you now move the yolk from one half to the other a number of times, you will be able to remove most of the white.

A bit of egg white in with egg yolks is not a problem. It is the other way round when you have egg yolk in with your egg white when making meringues that there is a problem :-)

Now you need to start whisking vigorously for about 5 minutes until the resulting mixture is light and creamy. So if you do not possess an electronic whisk . . . good luck

Step 4: Cream and Milk

Whilst the eggs, sugar and yolks a getting to know each other, place the cream and milk in a pan over a medium flame, whisking occasionally.

What to want to achieve here is to heat the milk and cream so the mixture is hot but not quite boiling.

It I remember correctly from when my children were young, the correct way of telling the temperature of milk is to stick you baby's elbow in it and if they cry then it is too hot.

Once the milk/cream is hot enough then reduce the intensity of the whisking of the eggs etc and slowly pour the hot cream into it. Put the resulting mixture through a sieve and you have a delicately flavoured custard.

Step 5: Cooking

Sit ramekins in a roasting tin and fill them with the mixture. Fill the tin with boiling water from the kettle to about halfway up the sides of the ramekins and place it on the centre shelf of the oven.

Let the puddings cook gently for 40 minutes at 150 degrees C. They are ready when the custard is set but still wobbles when you move them gently.

At this point, remove them from the oven and allow them to cool before chilling in the fridge for 2 hours or more.

Should you have any leftover mixture, it is possible to store in the fridge in an air-tight container for a couple of days before using. I exhausted all our ramekins so will make some more crème brulee on Monday.

Step 6: Serving

When you are ready to deliver to the table to eat, sprinkle each ramekin evenly with some of the remaining sugar, dividing it equally. Then use a blowtorch or sit the ramekins under a hot grill to melt and caramelise the sugar. The sugar will quickly begin to bubble and melt, soon turning to a golden caramel.

Gratefully receive any praise you receive for such a delicious dessert but do not divulge how easy these are to make :-)

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