Fall Flavored Crème Brûlée & Apple Chips

Fall flavoured creme brûlée is infused with sweet fall spices; cloves, cinnamon, and allspice.  It is served along with cinnamon spiked and crunchy Granny Smith apple chips to balance the richness of the creamy interior, and renders it an ethereal dessert.

Generally speaking, creme brûlée is one of my favorite french recipes that comes in handy when I am hosting guests who are on a strict gluten-free diet.  It is elegant, delicate, and nicely compliments a hearty lunch or dinner meal.

My oval ramequins are sort of shallow, that makes the portion small, and  just the right amount to please a sweet tooth.

This recipe is adapted from the cookbook “ Tuto L’Ano Con La Cucina Italiana.”  The book features sweet and savory recipes for the four seasons.  It has stunning and captivating photos of creatively tweaked traditional Italian dishes.

I bought this book from IBS bookstore in Via Nacionale in Rome.  IBS is a commodious, convivial three-story bookstore with an affable English-speaking staff.  I coincidently found myself in front of this Alice habit hole while wandering the streets of the eternal city on a stifling July afternoon.  My plan was to get a quick view of the place and get a breath of fresh cold air.  Yet, I spent circa two hours browsing books of all sorts.

While the original recipe in the book calls for poached pears, pears chips and tonka beans, I substituted pears with apples, didn’t use any poached fruits in the custard and replaced the hard-to-find tonka beans with fragrant whole allspice and cloves.


Fall Flavored Crème Brûlée & Apple Chips

Recipe adapted from Tuto L’Ano Con La Cucina Italiana.” 

Serves 12

INGREDIENTS

Apple Chips

  • 1 Granny Smith apple, thinely sliced
  • 1 tablespoon icing sugar
  • 1 teaspoon  ground cinnamon

Creme Brûlée 

  • 300 g milk
  • 300 g whipping cream
  • 5 cloves
  • 1 stick of cinnamon
  • 4 allspice pearls
  • 8 egg yolks
  • 100 g sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon of vanilla or almond extract

DIRECTIONS 

Apple Chips

  1. Thinly slice the apples, using a mandoline.
  2. Coat well the thin apple slices with powdered sugar and cinnamon.
  3. Bake it in a preheated 110 C oven for one hour, or until it is crispy and golden.

Creme Brûlée 

  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C).
  2. Heat milk and cream with the spices, in a medium saucepan, over medium heat, stirring once or twice,  just until steaming. Turn off the heat, cover pan, and let spices steep in and impart their flavors for 1 hour.
  3. Beat the eggs and sugar together until light and fluffy.
  4. Add the warm milk-cream mixture to the egg-sugar mixture gradually, and stir until well combined.  Add vanilla or almond extract.  Remove, with a serving slotted spoon, the foam that forms on the surface.
  5. Strain the custard, using a fine mesh sieve, into a jug.  Pour the custard into the ramequins, and place them in a large roasting pan.
  6. Add boiling water to the roasting pan.  Water should cover the lower half of the ramequins.
  7. Bake in a preheated oven for 40- to 50 minutes.  Remove from oven when the custard is barely set, but the center is still wobbly.
  8. Let the custard come to room temperature, and then place the ramequins in the fridge for at least 4 hours.
  9. Before serving, sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon of brown sugar (see notes) on top of each ramequin and caramelise under the broiler, or by  it using a torch.  Let set it and harden few minutes before serving.

NOTES 

  • I prefer brown sugar over white granulated sugar to caramelise the top as it has more interesting golden hues when it melts.
  • To infuse the milk I either use a no-mess metal or a disposable tea infuser.

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I am a citizen of the world who has been an expat long enough to qualify as an expert nomad. In several distant cities with few years spent in each, I fearlessly embraced and passionately savored their colorful cultures and exotic cuisines. My most precious collections of this peculiar life are the unique memories, and life-enriching friendships that evocatively intersect with the recipes shared here in this blog. Thank you for stopping by and welcome Chez Nermine.

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