How to Make Catalan Cream

  • 01 of 04

    Crema Catalana - How to Make Catalan Cream

    Crema Catalana
    Iain Bagwell/Stockbyte/Getty Images

    Crema Catalana or Catalan Cream is Spanish for the dessert called crème brulée in French. It is rich and creamy and melts in your mouth.

    Just before serving, it is traditional in Cataluña to place a heated iron with a spiral shape to brown and caramelize the top of the crema catalana. If your kitchen equipment doesn’t include a spiral-shaped hot iron, don’t worry! Simply caramelize the sugar under the broiler of your oven.

    Preparation Time: 10 minutes

    Cooking Time: 10 minutes

    Refrigeration Time: 3 hours

    This recipe makes 4 servings.

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  • 02 of 04

    Making Crema Catalana – Beat Eggs & Sugar, Then Heat

    Beating egg yolks and sugar in bowl, using a metal whisk, close-up
    Jerry Young / Getty Images

    In a pot, beat together the egg yolks and 3/4 cup sugar until thoroughly blended and the mixture turns frothy. Add the cinnamon stick and grated lemon rind. Pour in the milk and add cornstarch. Slowly heat the mixture, stirring constantly. Heat just until mixture thickens. Then, remove pot from heat immediately.

    Tip: As soon as the mixture thickens and you feel resistance while stirring, remove the pot from the heat or the mixture may curdle or separate! If that happens, the texture of the finished crema catalana will be grainy instead of smooth and creamy as it should be.

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  • 03 of 04

    Making Crema Catalana – Ladle Into Ramekins & Refrigerate

    Remove the cinnamon stick and ladle the milk mixture into 4 ramekins (individual serving size). Allow to cool, then refrigerate for at least 2 to 3 hours.

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  • 04 of 04

    Making Crema Catalana – Caramelize the Sugar & Serve

    Before serving, preheat the broiler. Remove crema from refrigerator and sprinkle the rest of the sugar over each ramekin. When broiler is hot, place the ramekins under the broiler on the top shelf and allow the sugar to caramelize, turning gold and brown. This may take 10 minutes or so, depending on your broiler. Remove and serve immediately.

    If you prefer, you can serve the crema catalana chilled, but we think it has more flavor when served warm from the broiler.