I was frequenting one of my bookstore haunts a couple days ago when I picked up The Craft of Baking by Karen DeMasco and Mindy Fox, which just happened to be sitting out on a feature shelf. It's not often that I find cookbooks that I like--I'm extremely picky when it comes to cookbooks, especially since bookshelf space is at such a huge premium in my small house. But, upon flipping through The Craft of Baking, I found myself immediately enamored by the simple recipes that stress the use of fresh and seasonal ingredients and the encouragement in the book right from the get-go to modify the recipes at the whims of your own creativity: that's my kind of baking philosophy!
One recipe that immediately caught my eye was the lemon-raspberry creme brulee because my raspberry and lemon-lime birthday cake was still fresh in my mind. Plus, it was the perfect way to use up some of the left over ingredients from making the cake, including some of the massive amounts of egg yolk that I have sitting in my fridge from a wedding cake last weekend (more on that in an upcoming post). (P.S. Any and all ideas for using egg yolks now being gratefully accepted!) Creme brulee is such a quick and lovely low-maintenance dessert, and with the lemon flavor and fresh raspberries floating in the smooth custard, I think I've found a new favorite creme brulee flavor. That is, until the next one. ;-P
Ack--I also just realized that this makes three raspberry recipe posts in a row! Time for this blog to go on a massive raspberry diet. (I say as I pop another fresh raspberry into my mouth...)
Read on for recipe...
[Please note that the recipe below is not the one from The Craft of Baking, only inspired by it.]
Raspberry-studded Lemon Creme Brulee
eight 2oz. ramekins
4 egg yolks
1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 cup manufacturing cream
2 oz. sugar
zest of 2 lemons
2 tspn freshly squeezed lemon juice
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Prepare eight 2oz. ramekins in a water bath, filling the water half-way up the sides of the ramekins.
2. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and set aside.
3. In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the milk, cream, sugar, and lemon zest. Bring to just a simmer.
4. Temper the egg yolks by pouring the heated milk mixture gradually into the yolks, whisking the entire time. Once the milk and yolks are combined, whisk in the lemon juice.
5. Strain the custard through a fine sieve into the eight prepared ramekins. Place two to three fresh raspberries into each filled ramekin, gently pushing the raspberries under the surface. Cover the ramekins tightly with aluminum foil.
6. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until the edges are set but the creme still jiggles a little when gently bumped. Remove from oven, remove from water bath, and let cool completely.
7. Cover the custards with saran wrap and refrigerate overnight.
8. An hour or two before serving, remove the custards from the refrigerator and remove the plastic wrap. (This helps to prevent condensation on the surface of the custards.)
9. When you are ready to serve, sprinkle a thin layer of turbinado sugar on top of each custard and caramelize with a blow torch. Serve immediately, topped with more fresh raspberries.