This dessert is inspired in part by a recent episode of Masterchef Australia, (with which I am unhealthily obsessed) when the final four contestants were told to cook from their hearts and produce a dish that they would each serve in their own restaurants. It got me thinking about the kind of food I love to cook the most. If it’s not obvious already, I love making desserts, but my very favourites seem to almost always involve seasonal fruit. But if you add some custard and a crunchy toffee top, I’m in heaven!
This is an interesting interpretation of a Crème Brulée, in which the cream is infused with tea leaves. I decided to stick with the theme and picked up some Sencha Quince tea, flecked with pretty blue cornflower petals, though you could also use French Breakfast tea if you like. It gave such an interesting flavour, one that was hard to put your finger on at first but that was absolutely delicious with the quince. I really liked this dessert – not only eating it, but making it as well. I used caster sugar to caramelise this time, rather than the brown sugar I used on my last crème brulée and this gave a thinner but cracklier toffee.
So here is a little treat from my heart, to celebrate my blog’s 2nd birthday! That’s right, spicyicecream turns two years old today and I couldn’t be happier. This blog has brought me more than I ever imagined and I’ve made so many wonderful friends both in Sydney and beyond. I’d just like to say thank you to all my readers for your visits and comments, your words and thoughts really make my day!
So tell me, friends, is there anything you would like to see on spicyicecream? More restaurant reviews, or more savoury recipes? Should I keep the desserts coming? How about seasonal and special occasion recipes? I would love to hear your thoughts on how to make this blog better over the next year!
Quince and Tea Crème Brulée
Recipe adapted from Gourmet Traveller
Makes 6-8 ramekins
• 4 tablespoons caster sugar
• 100ml dessert wine
• Juice of 1 lemon
• ½ vanilla bean, seeds scraped
• 1 cinnamon quill
• 1 quince, peeled, cored and cut into 8 slices
• 2 cups pouring cream
• 1/3 cup Sencha Quince tea leaves (or other green tea)
• ½ vanilla bean, seeds scraped
• 4 egg yolks
• ½ cup caster sugar, plus more for bruleeing
1. To prepare the quinces, combine sugar, wine, lemon juice, vanilla bean and seeds, cinnamon, quince pieces and ¼ cup of water in a saucepan and stir over medium heat until sugar has dissolved. Reduce the heat to low, cover and cook for 1 hour or until the quinces are tinged with pink. Allow to cool until required.
2. To make the crème brulee, combine the cream, tea leaves and vanilla seeds in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer. Remove from the heat and allow to stand for 20 minutes to infuse.
3. Combine eggs yolks with ½ cup caster sugar in a small bowl and whisk to dissolve sugar. Bring cream mixture to a simmer again and then pour onto egg mixture, whisking to combine. Strain the mixture through a fine sieve and discard tea leaves.
4. Divide quince pieces between the bases of 6-8 oven proof ramekins. Pour over the cream mixture and place ramekins in a deep sided roasting tray. Add enough hot water to come up about halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Bake at 160°C (320°F) for 25-30 minutes or until just cooked, then remove ramekins from tray and refrigerate for an hour, or until cold.
5. To serve, scatter with a thin, even layer of caster sugar over each custard and caramelise using a blowtorch. Serve immediately.