Crema Catalana

Crema Catalana is a traditional Spanish dessert, also known as burnt cream, characterized by its citrus and cinnamon aroma and its crunchy caramelized crust.

I love the Spanish food and what my country land offers to our gastronomy. If you have ever been to Spain, you know it has different climates and landscapes from north to south and from east to west. Therefore, we have a rich gastronomic culture since every region provides its own ingredients and culinary specialties.

Crema Catalana vs. Crème Brûlée

Although crema catalana and crème brûlée belong to the same family of custards and both are called “burnt creams” ( they are topped with burnt sugar), there are certain differences between them.

Crema catalana is a Spanish dessert made with cornstarch and cooked on the stove, while crême brûlée is a French dessert baked in the oven and no cornstarch is needed. Another difference is that lemon and cinnamon are used to flavor the crema catalana, while vanilla is used to flavor the creme brûlée.

Is Crema Catalana Gluten Free ?

Yes! Catalan cream is made with cornstarch, the flour is corn-based, not wheat-based; therefore, it is gluten-free. This dessert is suitable for celiacs.

Crema catalana is usually served in the typical clay dishes. It is a very traditional dessert and is part of the heritage of our rich gastronomic culture.

If you have never made this homemade dessert, and you are wondering how to make crema catalana, I assure you that it is very easy to make it.

How To Make Crema Catalana

1. In a saucepan, pour a liter of milk and add in a cinnamon stick and a lemon peel. It is important that the lemon peel has no white as it bitters.

2. Put it over high heat and, when it starts to boil, lower the heat and let it cook for 5 more minutes. Set aside with the saucepan covered, so that the milk continues to take on the flavor.

3. Separate 8 egg yolks from 8 egg whites, and place the yolks in a bowl. Add 150 grams of sugar and beat the mixture with a hand held mixer until it turns foamy and pale yellow.

4. Add 2 tablespoons of cornstarch into the mixture and beat with the hand mixer until well integrated.

5. Pour the milk into the mixture through a sieve, removing the cinnamon stick and the lemon peel. Whisk with the hand held for one second .

6. Once you have all the mixture integrated, put it back on the stove over a medium heat. Stir with a whisk until it starts to boil. You will see that it begins to thicken, but don´t let it get too thick because when it chills it will also thicken and we want it to be creamy.

7. As soon as you see the first boiling bubble, remove it from the heat and pour it into traditional clay dishes.

8. Allow the custard to cool at room temperature for about 10 minutes. Then, put it to chill in the refrigerator for 3 hours. Keep in mind this resting time in case you want to serve the cream the same day or overnight.

9. Before serving, sprinkle a thin layer of sugar on top of each dish. With a small kitchen blowtorch, burn the thin layer of sugar until turns golden brown. This is how you coat the top of the custard with a crunchy, caramelized crust.

How Do I Caramelize Crema Catalana ?

First, sprinkle a thin layer of sugar over the top of each dish with a spoon. Then get out your small kitchen blowtorch and carefully bring the blue flame close to the sugar until it becomes first liquid and subsequently turns golden brown. This is why it is also known as burnt cream.

I Don’t Have A Blowtorch, Can I Caramelize Crema Catalana In The Oven?

Yes, you can burn the sugar in the oven, putting crema catalana as close as possible to the broiler. First, preheat the oven to 428ºF (220ºC), and when it reaches the temperature, sprinkle the sugar onto the cream and, immediately, put it in under the broiler for a few minutes. Be careful not to burn it! It might not get the same results as with the blowtorch, but it will work.

When Should I Caramelize Crema Catalana ?

Just before serving. I recommend taking crema catalana out of the fridge half an hour before eating it, so you can enjoy savouring its creaminess.

If you liked this crema catalana recipe, I invite you to try other Spanish desserts.

From one delicious dessert comes another delicious dessert. While making this crema catalana, I had eight egg whites left over. What should I cook with these egg whites? The answer was a delicious pavlova .

como-hacer-crema-catalana-receta-tradiciona

Authentic Crema Catalana Recipe

Crema Catalana is a delicious traditional dessert of the Spanish cuisine.
5 from 11 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Chilling Time 3 hrs
Course Dessert
Cuisine Spanish
Servings 5 people
CALORIES 344 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 litre whole milk
  • 150 grams sugar
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 lemon peel
  • 8 egg yolks
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon sugar per serving for caramelized crust optional

Instructions
 

  • In a saucepan, add milk, a cinnamon stick and a lemon peel.
  • Put it over high heat and when it starts to boil, lower the heat and let it cook for 5 more minutes. Set aside with the saucepan covered.
  • Separate 8 egg yolks from 8 egg whites, and place the yolks in a bowl. Add 150 grams of sugar and beat the mixture with an electric hand mixer until it turns foamy and pale yellow.
  • Add 2 tablespoons of cornflour to the mixture and beat with the hand mixer until well integrated.
  • pour the milk into the mixture through a sieve, removing the cinnamon stick and the lemon peel. Whisk with the hand mixer for one second.
  • Once you have all the mixture integrated, put it back on the stove over a medium heat. Stir with a whisk until it starts to boil.
  • As soon as you see the first boiling bubble, remove it from the heat and pour it into traditional clay dishes.
  • Deja que se atempere 10 minutos y metes la crema en la nevera durante 3 horas hasta que repose y enfríe.
  • Before serving, sprinkle a thin layer of sugar over the top of each dish with a spoon and burn the sugar with a small kitchen blowtorchto caramelize the thin layer. Et voilà! You have just made a delicious crema catalana!

NUTRITION

Calories: 344kcal | Carbohydrates: 43g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 336mg | Sodium: 93mg | Potassium: 341mg | Fiber: 0.03g | Sugar: 40g | Vitamin A: 749IU | Calcium: 291mg | Iron: 1mg
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HELLO FROM SPAIN!

Hi! My name is Blanca, and I am an Interior Architect by day. And by … morning, noon and night, I’m Mom of two little angels!! I love desserts and, in my spare time, I make all kind of sweet treats and write about it on my blog.




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