Vanilla + raspberry crème brûlée

by | Jul 27, 2023


  • Butter, for greasing

  • 70g caster sugar, plus 1 tbsp for the raspberies

  • 300g raspberries

  • 100ml whole milk

  • 500ml double cream

  • 1 vanilla pod, split in half lengthways

  • 3 bay leaves

  • 6 large egg yolks (or 8 medium egg yolks)

  • 2 tsp cornflour

  • 5 tbsp demerara sugar

  • Halen Môn Pure Sea Salt in a Finer Flake

    Who can resist the satisfying crack of a brûlée, especially when the caramelised crust is balanced with a crunch of sea salt? We make ours in a large dish to share – an impressive centrepiece, but you can make it in individual ramekins using the same method if you prefer. Just remember that it will set more quickly in ramekins. The créme brûlée will set to a custard consistency after about 6 hours, but if you prefer a firmer set then leave it overnight in the fridge.


    1. Lightly grease a round 20cm/8in enamel or ceramic pie dish with butter. Scatter over the tablespoon of the caster sugar and 1/8 teaspoon salt. Roughly crush half the raspberries with the tines of a fork and use the fork to evenly distribute the ruby red berries over the base of the dish. Chill in the freezer.
    2. Pour the milk and cream into a large saucepan and scrape the vanilla seeds into the liquid with the back of a knife. Add the vanilla pod and bay leaves and heat gently over a medium-low heat for 3 minutes, or until the contents of the pan begin to steam and bubbles appear around the sides of the pan. Remove from the heat and set aside.
    3. Whisk the egg yolks, cornflour and the remaining caster sugar together in a large, heatproof bowl until the mixture is light and frothy. Pour over the hot creamy mixture and whisk to combine. Half-fill a sink with cold water as a precaution when you cook the custard in case it appears as though it might split, which is only likely if the pan gets too hot in places and the custard stirring stops for any length of time.
    4. Pour the custard mixture back into the saucepan you used to heat the cream and cook the custard over a low heat, stirring constantly, for 12–15 minutes until it’s thickened to the consistency of natural yogurt. A rubber spatula is best for this to peel away the liquid from the sides and bottom edges of the pan. If it looks as though it’s about to split, remove from the heat and plunge into the cold water in the sink, continuing to stir. The custard should look like custard, rather than thick cream by the time you remove it. Remove the vanilla pod and bay leaves from the custard and discard. Remove the dish from the freezer and pour the warm custard over the raspberries. Leave to cool completely, then cover and chill in the fridge for at least 6 hours, or overnight for a firmer set.
    5. When ready to serve, toss the demerara sugar together with 1/2 teaspoon of salt in a medium bowl. Scatter the salt and sugar mixture evenly over the surface of the custard, which will still have a slight wobble in the centre when you shake it, then use a blowtorch to melt the sugar-salt crust until the sugar is black in places. Serve immediately with the remaining raspberries.

    Thanks to Liz and Max for the picture and White Lion Publishing for sharing this recipe from our book Sea Salt.

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