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Origin: Murcia, Spain
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Details - Andalusian Style Marcona Almonds - Small Pack - AL006

Recipe - Crema Catalana (Catalan Cream)

One of our absolute favorite things in life is Spain's traditional Crema Catalana dessert. The contrast of the caramelized sugar, with its crisp texture and mild bitterness, set against the rich and thick vanilla cream is an absolute treat for anyone with a sweet-tooth!

We especially love this recipe because it is so easy! Just 20 minutes of prep time and you are on your way to a fabulous dessert. When we were trying our various recipes in the HotPaella.com test kitchen, we found this recipe to be the best. Some recipes called for cream or half-and-half, and although they produce a richer dessert, whole milk seemed to give the most traditional texture. Similarly, vanilla extract gave a strong vanilla flavor, but adding the split vanilla bean gave a great look to the dessert. When you add a whole vanilla bean, the seeds from inside the vanilla are released while cooking and gives a great upscale look to your creation. Buen Provecho! ~Marcos

Ingredients

6 cups Whole Milk
2 cups Sugar plus 1/2 cup reserved as topping
12 Egg Yolks
4 ½ tablespoons Cornstarch
The peel of 1 Lemon cut into strips
2 Cinnamon Sticks
1 Vanilla Bean (split lengthwise) or 1 ½ teaspoons Vanilla Extract

Prep Time/ Cook Time

5 minutes preparation, 10-15 minutes cooking on the stovetop, 2-4 hours to refrigerate

Instructions

In a saucepan, add the milk, cinnamon stick, lemon peel, and the vanilla bean (split the vanilla bean first to release the seeds.) Simmer for several minutes, then discard the cinnamon stick, lemon peel, and vanilla bean. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, the cornstarch, and the sugar until incorporated and creamy. Slowly add the egg yolk mixture to the milk, stirring continuously over low heat. Continue to stir for 5-10 minutes using low heat, or until the mixture thickens; ensure the mixture does not boil vigorously. Transfer the mixture to the individual terra-cotta serving dishes and cool in the refrigerator for several hours.

Just prior to serving, sprinkle with a thin layer of sugar and caramelize the sugar using one of the following methods:

  • Place the Crema Catalana under the broiler to caramelize the sugar (just 1-2 minutes at most.)
  • Use a handheld torch to heat the surface of the dessert until caramelized.

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