• Mark Tullett

Crema Catalana

A very local dessert, and one of my favourites when made well. It's a bit like a creme brulee which is French, and the locals will tell you that the French copied, and modified the Catalan recipe.

There are many recipes for this traditional Catalan dish but this is the one I use.


  • 500 ml whole milk

  • ½ an orange

  • ½ a lemon

  • ½ a stick of cinnamon (as I don't like cinnamon I leave this out)

  • 1 vanilla pod

  • 7 large free-range egg yolks

  • 95 g sugar

  • 1 heaped tesapoon cornflour

  • Additional sugar to caramelize on top


  1. Put the milk, orange and lemon zest and cinnamon in a saucepan. Split the vanilla pod lengthways and add this too, then gently bring to the boil.

  2. Remove from the heat and allow to infuse for 15 minutes.

  3. While it's infusing whisk the egg yolks with the sugar and cornflour until pale and creamy.

  4. Sieve the milk, discard everything else and return the milk to the pan and place over a medium heat.

  5. Just before it reaches boiling point, slowly add the egg mixture, whisking continuously for about 7 minutes, or until it begins to thicken and coats the back of a wooden spoon. (Basically a custard method)

  6. Remove it from the heat and pour into individual dishes or ramekins.

  7. Cover each with greaseproof paper to prevent a skin from forming, and let it cool before placing in the fridge.

  8. To serve, remove the greaseproof paper, sprinkle 1 tablespoon of sugar on top of each crema and caramelise using a blowtorch. Alternatively, place the sugared cremas on a tray under a preheated gas grill for a few minutes, until the sugar turns dark brown. Allow the sugar to harden, then serve immediately.

You make it look pretty you can put some fruit like raspberries or strawberries on the top as you serve it.

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