Pistachio crème brûlée with Blueberry gelée
If you've ever had truly good crème brûlée, you know what to look for—a rich, creamy, chilled custard topped with a crunchy, caramelized sugar layer that should make a sharp "crack" when you tap it with a spoon. Also known as "burnt cream," "crema catalana," or "Trinity cream," crème brûlée is one of the most timeless desserts desserts you can make. (Be careful when you master it, though, as the repeated requests to make it may come pouring in.)
Crème brûlée is an excellent canvas on which to experiment with flavors that make this classic dessert even more enticing. In our Atlanta-based venue, we decided to take things to the next level by adding the flavor of pistachio to the custard, as well as a surprise blueberry compote on its base. Give it a go—what's a more gratifying way to end a meal than to enjoy a perfectly bruléed custard?
- Servings 45
- Dish Dessert
- Time 90 minutes
- Skill Advanced
Blueberry gelée ingredients
Crème brûlée base ingredients
Baking crème brûlée ingredients
To serve ingredients
Set aside ramekins or other vessels you will be using for the crème brûlée. You will be putting the blueberry compote in the bottom of these dishes.
In a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan, add blueberries, sugar and water.
Bring the berry, sugar and water mixture to a boil.
Once the mixture reaches a boil, turn the heat down and let simmer, stirring frequently. Simmer mixture for 8 minutes, then remove pot from stove.
Mash the berries in the pot, then strain into a clean medium-sized saucepan through a fine chinois. Try to push through all the pulp. Discard any remaining pulp.
Place saucepan with mashed berries back on stove over medium heat.
Add agar agar to compote, stirring in completely. Return to a boil.
Once the compote returns to a boil, turn off heat and remove pot from stove.
Pour compote into a sauce gun and distribute into crème brûlée vessels. Fill all vessels evenly with just enough compote to cover the bottom. Be sure to work fast, as agar agar will set quickly.
Refrigerate compote-filled vessels for 20 minutes while you prepare the crème brûlée filling.
Crème brûlée base
Preheat convection oven to 325°F with low fan.
In a large heavy-bottomed saucepan or pot, whisk together milk, cream, vanilla and the pistachio compound.
Place pot containing milk mixture over low heat on stove and gradually bring to a simmer. Be careful not to scorch the mixture on the bottom of the pot.
While milk mixture is heating, whisk together egg yolks, sugar and crème fraîche in a medium-sized stainless steel bowl.
Pass yolk mixture through a tamis (drum sieve) into a clean, large mixing bowl.
Fill another clean, large mixing bowl, halfway with ice.
Place bowl of egg yolk mixture over the ice-filled bowl.
When milk mixture comes to a simmer, carefully remove the pot from the stove and turn off the heat.
Slowly temper the hot liquid with the egg yolk mixture, whisking constantly so the eggs do not curdle.
Using a hand mixer, completely incorporate the egg mixture with the milk mixture.
Allow mixture to cool completely before baking.
Baking crème brûlée
Carefully pour the cooled crème brûlée base mixture into ramekins containing the set blueberry gelée.
Place ramekins in a clean 2-inch hotel pan. Do not overcrowd hotel pan, as this will affect the baking process.
Fill a 2-quart pitcher with hot water.
Gently pour hot water into hotel pan containing full ramekins. Only add enough water to come up the sides of the ramekins one-fourth of the way. Be careful not to get any water in the ramekins.
Cover 2-inch hotel pan with aluminum foil.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Place hotel pan in oven.
Set timer for 30 minutes and allow to cook.
After 30 minutes, check for doneness by lightly jiggling the ramekins with oven-safe tongs. If the custard makes a wave-like motion, it needs more cooking time; if it is done, the custard will jiggle slightly when nudged.
Rotate hotel pan 180 degrees inside oven and bake for another 20 minutes, or as much as needed until crème brûlées are done. Alternately, you can test the crème brûlées by sticking an instant-read thermometer into the center of each custard. They are done when they reach 150–155 degrees F.
When crème brûlées are finished baking, gently remove hotel pan from oven.
Remove aluminum foil and allow to custards to cool for 5–10 minutes at room temperature.
When cool enough to handle, remove ramekins from hotel pan, placing them on a sheet tray in the walk-in to finish cooling completely.
Refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 3 days.
Lightly cover the top of cold crème brûlée with sugar. Using a torch, brûlée the sugar until caramelized but not burnt.
If using standard sugar, add garnish after torching. If using special sugar, allow for fire to completely burn out before adding garnish. (If you add garnish while fire is still burning, your garnish will catch fire.)
Serve immediately after sugar has been caramelized.