Friday, September 23, 2011
Vexing recipes and rhubarb deliciousness
I was really excited to see a recipe for Rhubarb Creme Brulee in last weekend's Sunday Star Times. It looked delicious so I decided to give it a go. I had heaps of stewed rhubarb left over from making Rhubarb jelly and thought I would put it to good use. The recipe was vexing. The first time round the result was a runny brulee and the second time I just made the changes that I thought would fix the recipe. The recipe also didn't make sense in one part - a requirement to strain the mixture made no sense (in fact, the only way in which it might make sense was if you had copied the instructions from a recipe where they had used a whole vanilla bean). But that is me just being petty, I don't like published recipes that don't seem to have been well tested.
I like my way better, so this is what I did. It was also my first time using the blowtorch a friend entrusted to my care while overseas. So good. So fun. So delicious.
Rhubarb Creme Brulee Make-Do Mum style.
A cup and a half of stewed rhubarb (I used Nigella's Jelly Recipe that uses a fair amount of sugar and has orange peel in it). Heat until warm/hot (not boiling hot).
4 egg yolks (freeze the egg whites in snap lock bags for later)
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 TBSP sugar
Caster sugar for grilling later
Preheat oven to 160C
Split the rhubarb mixture evenly between six half-cup ramekins. Make a bain-marie and put the ramekins in it. Pour very hot or boiling water into the bain marie so that it comes halfway up each ramekin.
Heat the cream in a saucepan on moderate heat until bubbles start forming on the side. In a separate bowl beat the egg yolks and sugar together until pale and creamy and the sugar is well dissolved. You can use a mixer, although with this amount it doesn't take too long to achieve by hand. Spoon a TBSP or so of the warmed cream into the yolk mixture to help warm it up (don't want to cook the egg before going in the oven). Mix the remaining cream into the yolk mixture then pour into the ramekins.
Bake for 25-30 mins until the top is well set. Remove from the oven once set and take the ramekins from the bain-marie as soon as possible (a fish slice makes this easy).
You can either refrigerate for a couple of hours, or, serve warm. I prefer it warm. Either way you have to do the crispy topping. Sprinkle caster sugar over the creme brulee and then either carefully grill or use a blowtorch until the sugar caramelises.