Magazine article Sunset

It's a Fruit and Custard Classic ... but Prettier and Easier to Make

Magazine article Sunset

It's a Fruit and Custard Classic ... but Prettier and Easier to Make

Article excerpt

It's a fruit and custard classic . . . but prettier and easier to make

Glistening strands of melted sugar form acrackly caramel not over fruit and custard in this stunning variation on creme brulee. Not only is this dessert prettier than the classic; it's also easier to make.

First you bake a tender custard, flavoredto complement the fruit you've chosen as a topping.

To caramelize sugar, you simply heat it ina pan until it melts and turns a delicate amber color. Drizzle this hot liquid over fruit arranged on the cooled custard; the caramel takes just a few minutes to become crisp and

brittle.

As the caramel absorbs moisture from thedessert, it will quickly start to melt. Serve the dessert as soon as it's assembled, so you get to savor the contrasting textures.

Peach-Blueberry Crackle Brulee

5 large eggs

1 1/4 cups sugar

1 1/4 cups milk

1 1/4 cups whipping cream or light cream(half-and-half)

1 teaspoon grated lemon peel

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

1/2 teaspoon almond extract

1/4 cup orange-flavored liqueur suchas Grand Marnier or triple sec

Boiling water

2 medium-size firm-ripe peaches

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1/4 cup blueberries

In a bowl, whisk eggs and 3/4 cup of thesugar just until eggs are blended but not frothy. Gently whisk in milk, cream, lemon peel, vanilla, almond extract, and liqueur just to blend well.

Set a shallow 10-inch round (or shallow1 1/2-qt.) baking dish (such as a quiche or pie pan) in a larger pan (such as a roasting pan). Place both on center rack of a 350| oven. Pour egg mixture into the smaller dish, and pour boiling water into larger pan; water should be 1/3 to 1/2 the depth of the custard mixture.

Bake until custard jiggles only slightly incenter when gently shaken, about 18 minutes. Protecting your hands, lift custard dish from hot water (you can support dish with 2 wide spatulas) and let cool on a rack. When cool, cover with plastic wrap and chill at least 1 hour or overnight.

Up to 1 hour before serving, half-fill a 3- to4-quart pan with water. Bring to a boil over high heat. Immerse peaches in boiling water for 30 seconds; lift out with a slotted spoon. Let cool (to speed, immerse briefly in cold water), then pull skin from fruit with a knife. Cut peaches in half; cut each half into 4 wedges. …

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