I once went to France for 3 weeks on a guided tour of the vineyards of Eastern France. We started in Reims and ended in Nice. It was an incredible trip; I mean, it’s hard to do better than eating Escargot, Coq au Vin and Bœuf Bourgignon while drinking Burgundy wine in Beaune, France!! While there, I also made it a mission to see how many time I could eat crème brûlée (in case you’re wondering, it was 16). On the first night of the trip, in Reims, I scored the crème brûlée jackpot: a dessert that was actually TWO crème brûlées! One pistachio and one orange. I’m sure they were both amazing, but I’ll never forget the pistachio. That was nearly 10 years ago; it’s been a long road back…
This recipe yields 8 crème brûlées in 3.5 inch diameter, 4 oz ramekins. Different size ramekins could be used, however it could dramatically affect the baking time. The recipe can also be scaled.
- 135g Pistachio Paste
- 3 cups Cashew “Cream” (the lighter, 2 Tbsp version)
- 4 Large Egg Yolks
- 106g Granulated Sugar
- Turbinado Sugar for the carmelized top (granulated sugar may be substituted)
- Preheat the oven to 250F.
- Place the cashew cream and the pistachio paste in the blender and blend on high for approximately 1 minute or until the paste is completely incorporated.
- In a large bowl, whisk the egg yolks and sugar together.
- Heat the cashew milk mixture in a saucepan over medium to medium-high heat, stirring continuously, until it begins to thicken slightly. Minimize the amount of air added for a smoother consistency in the final custard; I prefer to stir with a rubber spatula rather than a whisk.
- Temper the egg mixture by slowly drizzling about 1/3 of the hot cashew milk mixture into the eggs while continuously stirring (continue to minimize the amount of air introduced).
- Add the remaining cashew milk mixture to the eggs and stir to combine. Add 3-4 drops of green food coloring if you want to enhance the green pistachio color.
- Divide the mixture into the 8 ramekins. Gently tap the ramekins on the counter if necessary to remove air bubbles.
- Line the bottom of a baking dish with a paper towel and then place the ramekins in the baking dish. The paper towel will prevent the ramekins from sliding in the dish.
- Fill the baking dish with hot water to at least the level of the custard, being careful to not get water in any of the ramekins.
- Bake the crème brûlée for 90 mins (until the custard is just barely set), adding water if required to maintain it at the level of the custard. Remember that the custard will continue to set after removed from the oven and this recipe should produce a loosely set crème brûlée.
- Allow to cool to room temperature.
- Remove the ramekins from the water bath and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
- When ready to serve*, remove the crème brûlée from the refrigerator and spread approximately 1 tsp of turbinado sugar across the top. Use a torch to melt/caramelize the sugar to form a crispy top. Garnish with crushed pistachios.
*Caramelizing the sugar top ahead of time will result in the sugar absorbing moisture and becoming soft. Wait until just before serving for best effect. You might want to place the crème brûlée back into the refrigerator for 5-10 minutes to remove the heat from the torch before serving, although I typically do not.
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