Créme Catalane

Mmmm I am delicious and easy to make!
Mmmm I am delicious and easy to make!

Stage 14 takes us from Grenoble to Risoul in another mammoth mountain task for the riders in the Tour.

Tonight I bring you a dessert heavily influenced by the Spanish dish Creme Catalana, and if I am completely honest, a dish that is probably a little more representative of regions just a little further south!

In Risoul and surrounds, you would be more likely to find Crème brûlée à l’orange, a similar yet different dessert cooked in the traditional French manner of a water bath and made with heavy cream.  Créme Catalane is still a French dessert, however spiced with cinnamon and infused with citrus (orange, lemon or combination of both).  This recipe does not require a water bath and only needs to be chilled in the fridge, before setting upon it with sugar and a blowtorch…

While technically a dish for tomorrow’s stage of the race, I bring it to you tonight.  It’s my favourite dish so far, so non, je ne regrette rien!  Perhaps I’ll need to make the Crème brûlée à l’orange as well!

The recipe tonight is adapted from French Entrée.


  • 6 egg yolks
  • 1 litre of milk
  • Zest of half a lemon
  • 1 stick of cinnamon
  • 250g caster sugar
  • 4 tablespoons corn flour
  • Unrefined cane sugar (known as cassonade in France) or caster sugar

How to do it


Sugar and egg yolks!
Sugar and egg yolks!

Whisk the egg yolks and sugar in a bowl until pale and creamy.





Flavour infusion...
Flavour infusion…

Meanwhile, place 800ml of the milk on the stove with 1 cinnamon quill, and the zest of half a lemon.  Keep an eye on this, and when about to boil remove from the heat and let the flavours infuse for 10 minutes.  While the milk is heating, mix the remaining  200ml of the milk with 4 tablespoons of cornflour – mixing carefully to ensure there are no lumps.



Whisk thorouhly to incorporate...
Whisk thoroughly to incorporate…

Add the egg and sugar mixture to the warmed milk, stirring continuously with a spoon or whisk to ensure no lumps.  Remove the cinnamon stick and lemon rind before returning the saucepan to the heat carefully until the custard begins to thicken.




Patterns on the surface hold their shape...
Patterns on the surface hold their shape…

When the custard is warmed though, add in milk/cornflour mix, again continuously whisking to avoid lumps.  When the custard has thickened  lift your whisk and you should see patterns holding on the surface.




The fun part!
The fun part!

Pour the custard carefully into your ramekins and refrigerate for a minimum of 2 hours.  When set, sprinkle the tops generously with sugar and us a blow torch to caramelise the sugar.  Leave this to cool for 30 minutes or so to harden up, so you get that lovely crack when you attack the dish with a spoon!



Ready to enjoy!
Ready to enjoy!

Wow!  Am I glad I selected this recipe by mistake…you may not be from Risoul, Créme Catalane,  but I won’t hold it against you!



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