Summer Fruit Brûlée

This is a lovely summer brûlée with a fruity mix of berries and currants. The fruit is topped with a whipped creamy filling and then a crunchy caramelised topping.

Summer Fruit Brûlée

6 servings
  • Preparation time: 35 minutes
  • Chilling and cooling time: about 5 hours
  • Cooking time: about 15 minutes
  • Ingredients
  • 700 g (1 lb 8 oz) soft fruits, a mix of blackberries, blackcurrants, raspberries, and redcurrants or other suitable soft fruit
  • 115 g (4 oz) caster/superfine sugar (½ cup + 1 tbsp)
  • 285 g (10 oz) Greek yogurt
  • 285 ml carton whipping/heavy cream (1¼ cups)
  • 170 g (6 oz) demerara sugar (⅔ cup)

Equipment

  • You will also need a shallow rectangular heatproof dish with a base measurement of 25.5 x 16 cm (10 x 6½ inches) and 5 cm (2 inches) deep.
  • Method
  • You need to start preparing this dish early in the day as it needs to cool and chill between each stage.
  • First wash the fruit, remove any stalks from the blackcurrants and run the tines of a fork down the stalks of the redcurrants to separate the stalks from the currants.
  • Put the fruit in a pan and sprinkle over the sugar.
  • Now put the pan over a gentle heat for 3–5 minutes, until the sugar has just melted and the juices begin to run. Don’t stir the fruit but just move it around because you want to avoid breaking it down.
  • Summer Fruit Brûlée
  • Now tip the fruit into the shallow dish and leave it to become quite cold.
  • Summer Fruit Brûlée
  • Then spoon the yogurt into a bowl.
  • In a separate bowl, whip the cream until it is thick and then fold it into the yogurt.
  • Cover the fruit with the cream mixture, making sure it goes right to the edge of the dish and completely covers the fruit. Level the surface.
  • Summer Fruit Brûlée
  • Cover with cling-film/plastic wrap and chill for at least 2 hours.
  • 2 hours before you want to serve the brûlée, spread the surface thickly and evenly with the demerara sugar.
  • The easiest way to caramelise the sugar is to use a chef’s blowtorch but if you prefer to use the grill/broiler then you need to turn it on to a high setting and allow 15 minutes for it to get really hot.
  • Next, spray the sugar very lightly with water (a small plastic spray bottle is perfect for this), which will help the sugar melt and speed up the caramelisation process.
  • If using a blowtorch, aim the tip of the flame above one section of the sugar and once the sugar has melted and is bubbling move onto the next section. It will take about 10 minutes to completely melt all the sugar and turn it a dark golden brown colour.
  • Summer Fruit Brûlée
  • If not using a blowtorch, place the dish under the grill/broiler as close to the heat source as possible. Again heat the sugar until it has melted and turned a dark golden brown colour.
  • Now leave to cool and then chill again until ready to serve, when the caramelised sugar will form a crusty surface.
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Banana and Honey Brûlée

Banana and Honey Brûlée

A tasty twist on a classic crème brulée. Quick to prepare and just chill until needed.

Banana and Honey Brûlée

4 servings
  • Preparation time: 10–25 minutes
  • Cooking time: 1 minute
  • Refrigeration time: 2 hours

  • Ingredients
  • 2 small bananas, well mashed
  • 2 tbsp runny honey
  • 500 g carton Greek yogurt

  • For the topping
  • 2 tbsp hazelnuts or almonds, finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp granulated sugar, if using a chef’s blowtorch
  • 75 g (2½ oz) caster/superfine sugar (⅓ cup), if not using a chef’s blowtorch

Equipment

  • You will also need 4 × 150ml (5 fl oz) heatproof ramekins


  • Method
  • Divide the mashed bananas amongst the four ramekins and smooth the top.

  • Then drizzle over the honey to completely cover the bananas.

  • Carefully spoon an equal amount of yogurt into each ramekin and smooth the top.

  • Now sprinkle over the nuts and gently press them down into the yogurt.

  • For the topping, using a chef’s blowtorch
  • Working on one ramekin at a time, sprinkle about 2 teaspoons of sugar evenly over the nuts and yogurt. (The sugar needs to cover the yogurt completely.)

  • Caramelize the sugar under a direct flame.

  • Now repeat with the other 3 ramekins.

  • Leave to cool and then refrigerate for two hours before serving.

  • For the topping, without using a chef’s blowtorch
  • First, have a piece of baking paper ready on the counter top. Next, put the sugar in a stainless steel pan and add just enough water to dampen the sugar. Place over a low heat and stir the sugar until completely dissolved. Then increase the heat to medium–high. Without stirring, leave the sugar to bubble fiercely. When the bubbling lessens and the sugar has turned a pale straw colour it will be ready. Carefully pour the caramel onto the paper (it will be extremely hot) and leave it to become cold.

  • Now turn the grill/broiler to high and leave for 5 minutes to get really hot.

  • The caramel will have hardened on cooling. Break it into small pieces and blitz in a food processor or blender until there are really fine granules (finer than caster sugar). Sprinkle evenly over the nuts and yogurt in each ramekin, right to the edge, so that the yogurt is completely covered.

  • Put the ramekins on a baking tray as close to the heat source as possible. Cook for less than a minute, not letting the sugar burn. The heat just needs to melt the sugar.

  • Leave to cool and then refrigerate for two hours before serving.
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Updated: January 4, 2020

Coffee Crème Brûlée

Coffee Crème Brûlée

Coffee crème brûlée – a lovely creamy coffee custard topped with caramelized sugar. This recipe gives two methods of creating the caramelized topping, with or without using a chef’s blowtorch.

Coffee Crème Brûlée

6 servings
  • Preparation time: 30–45 minutes
  • Cooking time: 25 minutes
  • Cooling time: 2 hours
  • Refrigeration time: 6 hours or overnight, plus 2 hours on the day of serving
  • Ingredients
  • For the custard
  • butter for greasing
  • 4 eggs, large (U.K.)/extra large (N.A.), yolks only
  • 40 g (1½ oz) caster/superfine sugar (3 tbsp)
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 300 ml (10 fl oz) single/table cream (1¼ cups)
  • 300 ml (10 fl oz) double cream/whipping or heavy cream (1¼ cups)
  • 1 tbsp instant coffee granules or coffee extract
  • For the topping
  • 4 tbsp golden caster/granulated sugar, if using a chef’s blowtorch
  • 100 g (3½ oz) caster/superfine sugar (½ cup), if not using a chef’s blowtorch

Note

  • Superfine sugar is finer than caster sugar and begins to melt too quickly once it is spooned onto the custard. Granulated sugar in North America, which is finer than English granulated sugar, works better.

Equipment

  • You will also need 6 × 150ml (5 fl oz) heatproof ramekins


  • Method
  • For the custard
  • Preheat the oven to 160°C (325°F) (gas 3).

  • Lightly grease the ramekins with butter and set to one side.

  • Line a deep-sided ovenproof dish or roasting tin/pan with a layer of kitchen paper and sit the six ramekins on the paper (this prevents them from slipping).

  • Then have a kettle of boiling water ready.

  • Next pour both creams into a pan and heat until scalding.

  • Remove from the heat and add the coffee granules stirring until dissolved, or just stir in the coffee extract.
  • Leave to cool a little.

  • Meanwhile put the egg yolks and sugar into a large bowl and whisk together.

  • Gradually stir the cream into the egg mixture, until they are combined.
  • Strain the custard into a jug and then divide amongst the six ramekins.

  • Now carefully pour enough of the boiling water into the dish to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins.

  • Bake in the oven for about 25 minutes. Check after 20 minutes as the custard still needs to have a slight wobble to it.

  • Remove the dish from the oven and leave the ramekins in the water until the water has cooled.

  • Then take the ramekins out of the water, cover the dishes, and refrigerate for at least 6 hours or overnight.
  • For the topping, using a chef’s blowtorch
  • Sprinkle about 2 teaspoons of sugar evenly over the custard in each ramekin, right to the edge, so that the custard is completely covered.

  • Caramelize the sugar under a direct flame.

  • Leave to cool and then refrigerate for two hours before serving.

  • For the topping, without using a chef’s blowtorch
  • First, have a piece of parchment paper ready on the counter top.

  • Next, put the sugar in a stainless steel pan and add just enough water to dampen the sugar.

  • Place over a low heat and stir the sugar until completely dissolved.

  • Then increase the heat to medium–high and, without stirring, leave the sugar to bubble fiercely. When the bubbling lessens and the sugar has turned a pale straw colour it will be ready.

  • Carefully, pour the caramel onto the paper (it will be extremely hot) and leave it to become cold.

  • Now turn the grill/broiler to high and leave for 5 minutes to get really hot.

  • The caramel will have hardened on cooling. Break it into small pieces and blitz in a food processor or blender until there are really fine granules, finer than caster sugar (just like superfine sugar).

  • Sprinkle evenly over the custard in each ramekin, right to the edge, so that the custard is completely covered.

  • Put the ramekins on a baking sheet as close to the heat as possible. Cook for less than a minute, not letting the sugar burn. The heat just needs to melt the sugar.
  • Leave to cool and then refrigerate for two hours before serving.
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Updated: November 4, 2019