A cracking time

Some things simply require repetition to master.

Trial and error, practice makes perfect etc.

There is nothing this applies more to than national lockdowns… and crème brûlées made during national lockdowns.

Drawing inspiration from a simpler time spent in the hills surrounding lake Garda, this pistachio crème brûlée is an ideal showpiece dessert that requires a touch of effort but can be prepared far in advance.

Shopping list (serves 6):
Double cream x 400ml
Egg yolks x 4
Golden caster sugar x 60g
Pistachio kernels (unsalted) x 60g
Vanilla bean paste x 1/2 tbsp
Raspberry sorbet to serve
Ramekins (10-12cm) x 6

Start by soaking your pistachios in boiled water for at least one hour.

Set your oven to 150 degrees celsius.
Remove the nuts from the water, and blitz well until you have a paste. Add a touch of the leftover water to loosen it if needs be.

In large saucepan, add the cream, pistachio paste and vanilla paste. Increase the heat gently until just boiled, stirring frequently. Take off the heat and set aside to infuse for 30 minutes before sieving.

In a separate mixing bowl, cream together the sugar and egg yolks. Add the pistachio/cream mixture and mix well.

Fill your ramekins three quarters of way up with the mixture. Add these ramekins to an oven dish, filling said dish half way with water to make a bain-marie. Bake for 20 minutes so that they still have a slight wobble. They will continue to cook as they cool.

Once cooled, placed in the fridge to cool completely.

When the moment arrives, cover the top of each crème brûlée with caster sugar and use a cook’s torch to caramelise each one.

Serve with raspberry sorbet, if you like.


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