Catalan creams are very much like creme brullee. As both are a creamy custard with a crisp sugar topping. The main difference is that Catalan creams are flavoured with lemon zest and are traditionally served in an earthen ware dish.
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
800ml double cream (40% fat)
zest of 1 lemon
1 cinnamon stick
4 egg yolks
150g caster sugar
6 tbsp caster sugar
Cream: Place the cream in a saucepan with the lemon zest, cinnamon stick and sugar and bring it to the simmer. Cook the cream at a gentle simmer for a couple of minutes until the sugar has dissolved. Remove it from the heat and allow it cool and infuse.
Custard: Remove the cinnamon stick and strain the lemon zest from the cream if you wish (I like to leave the zest in for a stronger flavour). Return the cream to the heat and bring it to a gentle simmer and remove it from the heat. Beat the eggs together in a bowl and add around 100ml of the cream to it and mix it so that it is well combined. Stir the egg mixture into the cream in the saucepan with a wooden spoon. Place the saucepan over the lowest possible heat and stir it constantly with a wooden spoon until it thickens and leaves a heavy coating on the spoon. Be very careful not to make it to hot or you will end up with scrambled eggs.
Pour the custard into six 5-7cm round shallow preferable earthenware dishes or into ramekin dishes. Allow the custard to cool, then cover them with cling film and place them in a fridge until ready to serve.
To Finish: Sprinkle the caster sugar evenly over the top of each custard and place them under a preheated grill. Cook the sugar until it has melted, remove it from the grill and allow it to cool slightly. Serve.