Crème brûlée

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Crème brûlée
2014 0531 Crème brûlée Doi Mae Salong.jpg
Alternative names Burnt cream, Trinity cream, crema catalana, Cambridge Burnt Cream
Course Dessert
Place of origin France or Catalonia
Serving temperature Room temperature
Main ingredients Custard, caramel
Cookbook: Crème brûlée  Media: Crème brûlée
Crème brûlée being prepared with a small torch

Crème brûlée (/ˌkrɛm brˈl/; French pronunciation: ​[kʁɛm bʁy.le]), also known as burnt cream, crema catalana, or Trinity cream[1] is a dessert consisting of a rich custard base topped with a contrasting layer of hard caramel. It is normally served at room temperature. The custard base is traditionally flavored with vanilla, but can have a variety of other flavorings.

History[edit]

The earliest known recipes for crème brûlée appear in the Catalan cookbooks Llibre de Sent Soví (14th century)[2] and Llibre del Coch (16th century)[3]. The recipe included a custard cream, over which sugar was poured and subsequently burnt with a hot iron rod, creating the characteristic burnt crust.[citation needed] Analogous recipes appear in 17th century Spanish cookery books, usually under the name of Cream of Saint Joseph, since it was a traditional dessert served during Saint Joseph's day. The recipe was referred to as crema catalana (catalan cream) for the first time by the Spanish friar Juan de Altamiras in his 1745 cookbook, where the recipe was said to be of Catalan origin.[4].

The current, French, name, crème brûlée (burnt cream) first appears in François Massialot's 1691 cookbook Cuisinier royal et bourgeois.[5][6] The name "burnt cream" was used in the 1702 English translation.[7] Confusingly, in 1740 Massialot referred to a similar recipe as crême à l'Angloise, 'English cream'. The dish then vanished from French cookbooks until the 1980s.[5] A version of crème brûlée (known locally as "Trinity Cream" or "Cambridge burnt cream") was introduced at Trinity College, Cambridge, in 1879 with the college arms "impressed on top of the cream with a branding iron".[1]

Crème brûlée was not very common in French and English cookbooks of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries,[8] but it became extremely popular in the 1980s, "a symbol of that decade's self-indulgence and the darling of the restaurant boom",[9][10] probably popularized by Sirio Maccioni at his New York restaurant "Le Cirque", who claimed that he made it "the most famous and by far the most popular dessert in restaurants from Paris to Peoria".[8][11]

Ingredients[edit]

  • Fresh Cream
  • Milk
  • Sugar
  • Egg
  • Vanilla Extract

Crema catalana[edit]

In Catalan cuisine, crema catalana ("Catalan cream") or crema cremada ("Burnt cream"), is a dish "virtually identical" to crème brûlée;[9] Traditionally known as crema de Sant Josep, it was originally served on Saint Joseph's Day although nowadays it is consumed at all times of the year. The custard is flavored with lemon or orange zest, and cinnamon.[10] The burnt sugar topping is documented in 1770.[4]

Technique[edit]

Crème brûlée flambée

Crème brûlée is usually served in individual ramekins. Discs of caramel may be prepared separately and put on top just before serving, or the caramel may be formed directly on top of the custard, immediately before serving. To do this, sugar is sprinkled onto the custard, then caramelized under a salamander broiler or with a butane torch.[12]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Alan Davidson (21 August 2014). The Oxford Companion to Food. OUP Oxford. pp. 230–. ISBN 978-0-19-104072-6. 
  2. ^ 'Llibre de Sent Soví. Llibre de totes maneres de potatges de menjar', a cura de Rudolf Grewe. Edició revisada per Amadeu J. Soberanas i Joan Santanach. 'Llibre de totes maneres de confits', edició crítica de Joan Santanach i Suñol. Barcelona, Barcino (Els nostres clàssics, B 22) / Lluís Cifuentes i Comamala
  3. ^ El convit del Tirant, Jaume Fàbrega, Pages Editors, 2007. ISBN 978-84-9779-520-3
  4. ^ a b Nuevo arte de la cocina española. Ariel. 1 October 2017. p. 493. ISBN 978-84-344-2530-9. 
  5. ^ a b The Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets. Oxford University Press. 1 April 2015. pp. 383–. ISBN 978-0-19-931362-4. 
  6. ^ Jane Grigson (1 January 1985). Jane Grigson's British Cookery. Atheneum. 
  7. ^ Harold McGee (20 March 2007). On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen. Simon and Schuster. p. 97. ISBN 978-1-4165-5637-4. 
  8. ^ a b Darra Goldstein, ed., The Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets, 2015, ISBN 0199313393, s.v. 'Crème brûlée'
  9. ^ a b Colman Andrews (3 December 2005). Catalan Cuisine, Revised Edition: Vivid Flavors From Spain's Mediterranean Coast. Harvard Common Press. pp. 247–. ISBN 978-1-55832-329-2. 
  10. ^ a b Richard Sax (9 November 2010). Classic Home Desserts: A Treasury of Heirloom and Contemporary Recipes. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. pp. 149–. ISBN 0-547-50480-2. 
  11. ^ Sirio Maccioni, Peter Elliot, Sirio: The Story of my Life and Le Cirque, 2004, ISBN 0471204560, p. 216
  12. ^ Cloake, Felicity (19 September 2012). "How to cook perfect creme brulee". The Guardian. Retrieved 9 September 2016. 

Bibliography[edit]

  • "Origin of Crème Brûlée", Petits Propos Culinaires 31:61 (March 1989).

External links[edit]