Given what they charge for crème brûlée in restaurants I always thought it was hard to make. Then I discovered this recipe for rhubarb crème brûlée in a Foodland Ontario flyer provided by one of our local farm stands and was so surprised at how easy it was. It turned out so well, we made it twice in less than two weeks!
My ramekins are just simple, clear glass saved from a pre-made frozen dessert long ago. The nice part of the glass is that you can see both the red fruit on the bottom as well as the custard. As to caramelizing the top, the less sugar the better. Too much sugar just softens rather than creating a hard shell.
One more note, the first time I made the recipe I forgot to add the vanilla, second time we did. Quite frankly I didn’t notice any difference.
- 2 cups chopped rhubarb (about 1/2 to 1 inch in size)
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar and 3 tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons water
- 2 cups whipping cream
- 5 egg yolks
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla (see * below)
- 1/4 cup light brown sugar (less than that is better)
- To make rhubarb sauce for bottom, combine rhubarb, 1/3 cup sugar, 3 tablespoons brown sugar and water in saucepan. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes until thick & rhubarb is soft. Set aside to cool. You can also make a big batch of rhubarb sauce to eat and use some as the base which is what we did.
- Preheat oven to 300F.
- For custard, in large bowl stir together egg yolks, eggs, and 1/2 cup sugar (you have to add cream later so use a larger bowl).
- In heavy bottomed saucepan, heat cream to almost simmer (do not boil). Remove from heat and stir into egg mixture very slowly.
- Strain through fine sieve into a separate bowl. If using, stir in vanilla.
- Place rhubarb sauce in bottom of ramekins to about 1/2 inch in height. Carefully spoon in custard mixture over rhubarb (try not to disturb the rhubarb layer).
- Set ramekins in large roasting pan and place pan in oven. Add water around the bottom of the pan to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins.
- Cook at 300F for 1 hour until custard sets but is still a bit jiggly.
- Remove and cool on wire racks. Cover with plastic wrap (don’t touch custard) and put in refrigerate overnight.
- When ready to serve remove from fridge and add a small amount of brown sugar to lightly coat the top of the custard. If you put too much brown sugar on top and it won’t melt evenly. Place directly under oven broiler for about 2 minutes until it caramelizes. Watch closely so it doesn’t burn.
- Remove & serve. The top is crunch, the insides are now slightly warm.
If you don’t have an ramekins don’t worry. Try using small mason jars or any small container that is oven proof.