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Program #167
Guest: Chef Jean Claude Mille

The origins of creème Brule are hotly debated. The Spanish call it crema Catalana and say they invented it during the 18th century. In the south of France, it is known as crème catalane and is believed to have been born there. Meanwhile, the Brits contend that it was first made during the 17th century at Trinity College in Cambridge, where it is known as Cambridge burnt cream or Trinity cream. Indeed, it wasn't until the late 19th-century that the French translation of "burnt cream" (crème Brule) came into vogue, causing the popular perception that it's a uniquely French dish. I was introduced to this delicious dessert in New York in the late 80's and over the years I changed the recipe many times until I finally perfected it to my taste. It is my favorite dessert. I hope you enjoy it...

This recipe can be prepared in 1 hour. Serves four

Equipment You Need.

4 - 6 oz each Crème Brule ramequin
1 sheet pan 18x12.5 pan, for water bath
1 Crème Brule gas blow torch
1 heatproof mixing bowl
1 medium sauce pan
1 whisk

Ingredients

1 cup heavy cream
1 cup half and half
1 pinch of salt
5 egg yolks
1/3 cup of sugar
1 whole vanilla bean, (preferably bourbon) split lengthwise and scraped
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
24 each fresh raspberries (6 per ramekin)
6 teaspoons Turbinado sugar (1½ teaspoons for each crème), for glazing

Preheat the oven to 315 degrees. In a medium saucepan add cream, milk, salt and the split and scraped vanilla bean. Heat until the surface begins to simmer. In a large heatproof bowl, blend the egg yolks and granulated sugar with a whisk. Slowly add the hot cream-milk mixture, stirring gently. Strain the custard into a large measuring cup. Arrange the ramekins on the sheet pan. Slowly pour the custard into the ramekins. When filled, put the raspberries in the custard. Put the filled ramekins on the sheet pan and set the pan in the center of the oven. Carefully pour in enough hot water to reach halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Bake for about 25-30 minutes or until the custards are firm at the edges, but still a bit wobbly in the center.

Transfer the ramekins to a wire rack to cool for at least two hours but don't refrigerate. I like the crème Brule to be served at room temperature.

When cooled down, put the crème Brule on a metal top surface (you don't want to burn your kitchen counter). Top the crème with 1½ tablespoons of turbinado sugar. Light up the gas blow torch and burn them until light brown.

**Let it cool for at least five minutes before serving**

You can also garnish them with fresh whipped cream, fresh raspberries and a mint leaf
Joanne and Chef Jean Claude sit down for dessert
Creme Brulee means "burned cream" in French
Finish with a sprinkling of powdered sugar, a mint leaf, and a raspberry.