Crema Catalana (Catalan Cream) is a traditional Spanish crème brûlée. It is made with a citrus and cinnamon custard base and served with caramelized sugar.
- 1 lemon peel
- 1 orange peel
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 6 egg yolks
- 1 cup of granulated sugar, plus more for caramelizing
- 2 tbsp cornstarch
- In a medium saucepan, bring the milk, lemon and orange peel, and cinnamon stick to a simmer over low heat. Stir occasionally to prevent it from sticking and burning. Remove from heat and let it steep, covered, for 30 minutes. Strain using a fine mesh sieve to remove the peels and cinnamon stick.
- In a separate bowl, whisk egg yolks and sugar until the mixture becomes pale and smooth, about 1 minute. Add the cornstarch to the mixture and incorporate using a whisk until fully combined.
- Gradually add the egg mixture to the warm milk, whisking constantly to prevent the eggs from scrambling.
- Once the mixture is fully incorporated, stir over low heat until it thickens to a pudding-like consistency, about 7 minutes. Don’t let the custard boil, or it will curdle.
- Remove from heat and strain the custard again, before pouring into ramekins or clay pots. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing directly unto the surface to prevent from forming a thick skin. Let them cool, covered, and then refrigerate for 4 hours but preferably overnight.
- To serve, sprinkle about 1 teaspoon of granulated sugar on top and caramelize using a kitchen blowtorch.
- Make Ahead: The custard can be made up to 2 days in advance and stored in the refrigerator, covered with plastic wrap. Make the caramelized sugar just before serving.
- Store: store leftover custard (without caramelized sugar) covered with plastic wrap in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
- Freeze custard in an airtight container for up to 2 months. To thaw, let it sit in the refrigerator overnight. Add the caramelized sugar just before serving.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Chill Time: 4 hours
- Cook Time: 10 minutes
- Category: Dessert
- Cuisine: Spanish
Keywords: Crema Catalana, Spanish Creme Brûlée, Spanish desserts, custard