Introduction: Pistachio Rosewater Creme Brulee

About: I'm a bit of a crazy cat lady with a penchant for red wine, travel, and making something from nothing. I blog at Shrimp Salad Circus, where I cover everything from an extensive library of DIY tutorials to tech…

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I know it's technically crème brûlée, but I'm gonna pretend all those accent marks never happened, and you're just gonna agree to not judge me for it. Deal?

Remember my pistachio paste recipe for cheaters? Well, this is what you're going to need it for.

Creme brulee is delicious by itself, but adding the complex flavors of pistachio and rosewater will take it up to a whole new, gourmet level. This recipe uses a creme brulee mix, so don't be intimidated - it's surprisingly easy! (And I'll never tell anybody you didn't make it from scratch!) You don't even need a torch to get the beautiful bruleed sugar on top!

Step 1: Ingredients

  • creme brulee mix (available at most groceries)
  • 1 cup/240 mL whole milk
  • 1 cup/240 mL whipping (heavy) cream
  • 2 tablespoons pistachio paste (recipe or ready-made)
  • rosewater (available at ethnic groceries)
  • chopped roasted pistachios

Step 2: Pistachio Milk

In a blender or food processor, mix two tablespoons of pistachio paste with enough milk to form a well-mixed liquid. Blend until the pistachio paste has fully incorporated into the milk.

Step 3: Mix

From here, you'll follow the instructions on the creme brulee mix. If you're making it from scratch, just add the pistachio paste-milk as regular milk when the recipe calls for it. If you are using the boxed mix, add the pistachio paste mixture, the remainder of the milk, and the cream to a pot, and whisk in the creme brulee mix until it's fully incorporated.

Step 4: Heat

Bring it to a light boil, and then simmer it for a minute or two, stirring all the while, until you have a pretty thick consistency.

Step 5: Rosewater

Just before you take it off the heat, drizzle in one to two tablespoons of rosewater.

Rosewater has a surprisingly strong flavor that can easily overwhelm a dish, so you might want to start with less, and then give it a quick taste to see if you want to add a bit more. You want the pistachio and rose flavors to come through, so don't overpower the nutty aspect with too much rosewater.

Step 6: Dish It Up

Pour the hot custard into four ramekins, and set them aside on the counter to cool for at least an hour.

Chop up some roasted pistachios to sprinkle on top of the custards.

Step 7: Caramelize

Once the custards have set in their ramekins, sprinkle the caramelizing sugar (included with the mix) evenly over the top of each. Put them in a water bath* under the broiler just until the sugar caramelizes and hardens. Check on them very frequently, as the change from sugar to sugar crust to flaming mess can happen quickly and without warning!

A water bath helps to keep cooking temperatures even. I like to use this method for the creme brulee since the broiler gets so hot on top, with no heat underneath. To bake in a water bath, just fill a baking dish halfway with water, and set your ramekins inside. The water shouldn't be near the tops of the dishes, as you don't want it to splash in and ruin the custard.

Step 8: Garnish

Sprinkle a bit of the chopped pistachio onto each finished creme brulee, and serve them up immediately. Enjoy!

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