Christmas Creme Brulee

My boyfriend made this pistachio creme brulee with a raspberry tuile “brulee.” The colors are perfect for Christmas, and you can make an easier version. First, find pistachio paste; this one is fine:

It’s as easy as pie, or creme brulee… Here is a traditional French recipe from Patricia Wells’ Bistro Cooking:

Creme Brulee (Burnt Cream)

1 vanilla bean
1 quart (1 l) heavy cream
1/2 cup (100 g) Vanilla Sugar

6 large egg yolks
1/2 cup (75 g) firmly packed dark brown sugar

1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C).
2. Cut the vanilla bean in half lengthwise and use a small spoon to scrape out the tiny black seeds. Combine the cream, vanilla seeds, and vanilla pod halves in a heavy saucepan. Bring to a boil. Remove from the heat, cover, and set aside to steep for 15 minutes. Remove the vanilla pods, which can be dried and used to prepare vanilla sugar.
3. In a medium-size bowl, combine the vanilla sugar and egg yolks and whisk until well blended. Add the vanilla cream and mix well.
4. Place 6 shallow 6-inch (15 cm) round baking dishes in a roasting pan. Pour the cream mixture into the dishes. Add enough boiling water to the pan to reach halfway up the sides of the baking dishes.
5. Bake just until the mixture is just set in the center but still trembling, about 30 minutes.
6. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 24 hours. Remove from the refrigerator, sieve the brown sugar evenly over the top of the baked cream, and glaze under the broiler for several seconds, until the sugar forms a firm crust, watching carefully to see that it does not burn. Return the custards to the refrigerator until about 15 minutes before serving.
Yield: 6 servings

For pistachio creme brulee, whisk in some pistachio paste just before pouring the batter into the dishes. Taste as you go, and make sure you achieve a nice green color.

Sucre Vanille (Vanilla Sugar)

4 vanilla beans, split lengthwise
4 cups (800 g) sugar

Scrape out the seeds from the bean pods. Combine the bean pods, seeds, and sugar in a jar. Cover securely and allow to sit for several weeks to scent and flavor the sugar. Use the vanilla sugar in place of regular sugar when baking desserts.
Yield: 4 cups (800 g)

Truc (Tip): Vanilla sugar makes a great gift in a lovely jar. It’s a little late for this Christmas, but you could always put a “Do not use until” date on it…

Rather than attempt a raspberry tuile, brulee brown sugar, as in the recipe. You can make a simple raspberry coulis to serve on the side:

Raspberry Coulis

2 cups fresh raspberries or 1 10-ounce package frozen raspberries
3 or 4 tablespoons sugar

Process ingredients until smooth, and strain out seeds.

Garnish your Christmas creme brulee with fresh raspberries as bright as Rudolph’s nose!


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