Two years ago around this time I was seriously considering becoming an Environmental Engineer. I was taking Intro to Chemical & Environmental Engineering, was halfway through the Chemistry series, and moseying along through Calculus. I was so sure that my love and passion for the environment meant that I needed to study how to fix it hands on, and that sounded like a good idea on paper, right? So what if I hated math…(ha!)
My desk was constantly covered in sheets of paper while I tried to work through monotonous calculus problems. My idea of a break would be to scroll through TasteSpotting for an hour, envious of people who blogged about food. I was forcing myself down a path that made me miserable because I didn’t realize I could do something else and still incorporate my love for the environment.
Fast forward to today where my life is not even comparable to how it was two years ago. I walked into my room today to a mess on my desk which included: colored paper, glue sticks, 5 cookbooks, hand written notes about ideas for recipes I want to try, and a camera. I’ve somehow become the person I secretly wanted to be without even realizing it until now. I take classes that genuinely interest me now, I bake amazing & beautiful desserts, and I have people who support my creative side and my academic side.
The point of all of this is to explain how we change. Our ideas change, our feelings about people change, our tastes change, and sometimes you just need someone to remind you that change is good. Change leads you to a new form of happiness.
Two years ago, I would not have made this dessert. “It is fruity and has no chocolate in it” old Madeline would have said. But, despite lacking chocolate, this dessert is quite pleasing to both the eyes and the mouth.
I hope if you are hesitant and worried about betraying your near and dear friend, chocolate, that you’ll give this a try and then go back to your go-to chocolate cupcake recipe. You won’t be disappointed.
And you get to use a flame torch. Yeah, a flame torch in the kitchen.
Lemon & Raspberry Creme Brûlée
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tbs granulated sugar
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- Finely grated lemon zest of 3 lemons
- 1/4 cup strained fresh lemon juice (about 1 1/2 lemons)
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 4 large egg yolks
- 1 package of fresh raspberries
- Extra sugar for caramelizing the top
- Fill a large bowl with water and lots of ice cubes to make an ice bath.
- In a medium saucepan, bring the cream, granulated sugar, vanilla, and lemon zest to the point right before a boil. Remove the pan from the heat and pour the mixture into a medium stainless steel bowl. Set the bowl into the ice bath and stir until the mixture has cooled. Remove the bowl from the ice bath, and whisk in the lemon juice and salt. (At this point the original recipe says to cover and refridgerate over night. I skipped this and proceeded anyways)
- Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 275 degrees F.
- In a large bowl, whisk the egg yolks together. Pour about 1/3 of the chilled cream mixture into the yolks and whisk together well. Add the remaining cream mixture and whisk to combine. Strain the mixture through a fine mesh strainer into a bowl.
- Arrange six 4oz ramekins in a deep baking dish or roasting pan, spacing them evenly and place 6 raspberries in a single layer in the bottom of each ramekin. Divide the custard among the ramekins, dunking the raspberries under with your fingers. Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil, leaving the front side loose and carefully place the dish in the oven. Fill the baking dish with warm water to reach halway up the sides of the ramekins, then seal the pan tightly with foil.
- Bake for 20 minutes. Then lift the foil and release the steam; reseal the foil tightly and rotate the pan. Continue to bake until the edges of the custards are set but the centers are still quite loose, about 20 minutes more. (If custards appear to need more time, continue cooking, checking them and venting the steam at 5 minute intervals).
- Remove the foil from the baking dish and carefully transfer the dish to a wire rack. Let the custards cool to room temperature, then remove them from the baking dish and refrigerate them uncovered, for at least 30 minutes.
- When ready to serve, remove custards from refridgerator, and using a paper towel, gently blot any moisture from the surface.
If you are using a blow torch
- Sprinkle a thin and even layer of sugar on each custard. Using your blow torch positioned a few inches away, move the flame back and forth until the sugar is melted and bubbling.
If you are using the broiler on your oven
- Position a rack 8 inches from the heating element in your oven and set it to broil. Sprinkle a thin and even layer of sugar on each custard. Place the ramekins on a baking sheet and broil for 2-5 minutes. [DO NOT LEAVE! The sugar burns very quickly so keep your eyes on them!]
Adapted from The Craft of Baking
Printed with love from Thursday Night Baking