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Crema Catalana with roasted rhubarb and thyme


Serves: 6
timePrep time: 20 mins
timeTotal time:
Crema Catalana with roasted rhubarb and thyme
Recipe photograph by Ant Duncan

Crema Catalana with roasted rhubarb and thyme

‘I have experimented with flavours over the years, but this is one of the most delicious combinations I’ve come across – the tangy twist of the rhubarb and aromatic thyme lifting the creaminess of the custard,' says chef José Pizarro

Serves: 6
timePrep time: 20 mins
timeTotal time:

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Nutritional information (per serving)
Calories
239Kcal
Fat
12gr
Saturates
5gr
Carbs
25gr
Sugars
20gr
Fibre
1gr
Protein
9gr
Salt
0.2gr

José Pizarro

José Pizarro

Originally from Extremadura, western Spain, José Pizarro is an award-winning chef and bestselling author of five cookbooks. He runs a tapas bar and restaurants in London and Surrey, and recently opened two new restaurants at The Royal Academy of Arts
See more of José Pizarro’s recipes
José Pizarro

José Pizarro

Originally from Extremadura, western Spain, José Pizarro is an award-winning chef and bestselling author of five cookbooks. He runs a tapas bar and restaurants in London and Surrey, and recently opened two new restaurants at The Royal Academy of Arts
See more of José Pizarro’s recipes

Ingredients

  • 800ml whole milk
  • pared zest of 2 oranges and 1 lemon
  • fresh nutmeg
  • 1 vanilla pod, seeds scraped
  • 7 large egg yolks
  • 55g caster sugar, plus extra for caramelising
  • 30g cornflour
For the rhubarb
  • 400g rhubarb, trimmed and cut into 3cm pieces
  • juice from ½ orange
  • 2 thyme sprigs, leaves picked
  • 1 ½ tbsp caster sugar

Step by step

Get ahead
Prep the crema Catalana and rhubarb up to the end of step 4 a day ahead and chill in the fridge. Bring the rhubarb back to room temperature to serve.
  1. Put the milk in a saucepan with the pared citrus zests, a good grating of nutmeg and the vanilla seeds and bring almost to the boil (you can use the vanilla pod to infuse a jar of sugar for future baking). Set aside, cover and allow to infuse for at least an hour.
  2. Strain through a fine sieve into a jug. Beat the egg yolks with the caster sugar and cornflour. Once smooth, gradually whisk in the infused milk until you have a smooth thin custard mixture.
  3. Pour into a clean pan and cook very gently for 10-12 minutes, stirring regularly, until it has become luscious and thick. Divide evenly into six 150-200ml ramekins or dishes and chill in the fridge overnight.
  4. Preheat the oven to 180°C, fan 160°C, gas 4. Place the rhubarb in a roasting tin with the orange juice, thyme and caster sugar. Cover with foil and cook for 20-25 minutes until tender but still holding its shape. Allow to cool to room temperature in its syrup.
  5. Sprinkle the top of the ramekins with a layer of sugar and caramelise with a chef’s blowtorch or under a very hot grill. Chill for 1 hour before serving with the rhubarb.

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