Crème brûlée is such a classic, indulgent dessert that relies on good quality ingredients, namely fresh eggs and cream. Add a zingy cranberry compote and spiced custard mixture to create a truly festive pud.
For the cranberry compote –
300g fresh or frozen cranberries (plus a few for garnish)
1 orange, zest and juice
1 cinnamon stick
75g caster sugar (plus extra for dusting)
For the crème brûlée –
1 tablespoon spoon vanilla bean paste
1 cinnamon stick
Zest of 1 orange
700 ml double cream
7 Clarence Court Burford Brown egg yolks (keep the white in a food bag and freeze for another day)
2 tablespoons light soft brown sugar
Pre-heat the oven to 140c (fan)/ 280 f/ gas mark 1.
To make the cranberry compote, place all of the ingredients in a medium sized saucepan. Bring to the boil whilst stirring then reduce to a simmer. Allow to reduce for around 15 – 20 minutes stirring regularly until thickened and glossy. Add a little splash of water if it’s looking too thick. Allow to cool then remove the cinnamon stick and cloves.
To make the custard, add the vanilla bean paste, cinnamon stick and orange zest in a medium saucepan with the cream and place on a low heat. Allow the cream to steam and bubble very slightly (but not boil), stirring occasionally then turn off the heat and allow to infuse. Remove the cinnamon stick.
Fill and boil the kettle then allow to cool whilst you carry on assembling the crème brûlée. Once the cream is cool add it to a blender with the egg yolks and sugar. Blitz well to combine. Spoon the cranberry compote into the ramekins (to fill about ⅓ of each dish). Place the dishes into a deep roasting tray. Pour the custard into the ramekins until just full. Place the tray of crème brûlée carefully into the oven then very slowly pour the water from the kettle into the roasting tray so the water reaches ¾ of the way up the ramekins. Make sure not to get water in the crème brûlées. Close the oven and bake for between 45 minutes – 1 hour (depending on the size of ramekin) or until just set.
Remove the ramekins from the oven and allow to cool on a cooling rack. Chill in the fridge until ready to serve. Just before serving take the reserved cranberries and roll around on a plate of caster sugar until lightly coated and place to one side. Sprinkle the tops of the crème brûlée with caster sugar and caramelise using a blow torch or place under the grill. Scatter over the cranberries and serve.