Pear and lemon verbena crème brûlée

Pear and lemon verbena crème brûlée

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Desserts
Serves
6-8

Lemon verbena is a fantastic herb that goes particularly well in this dish and in other desserts such as like crème caramel and most set custards. It’s such an easy herb to grow in the garden and produces quite a strong flavour, but it needs to be infused prior to cooking and the leaves drained off as overcooking the leaves can make them taste bitter.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
500ml milk
500ml double cream
3 sprigs lemon verbena, finely chopped
7 egg yolks
110g caster sugar
2 poached or tinned pears
55g demerara sugar

Method

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 150ºC.
  2. Heat the milk and cream gently in a pan with the chopped lemon verbena. Remove from the heat and allow to cool before blending the mixture with a hand blender.
  3. Place the egg yolks in a bowl, add the sugar and whisk together until pale and thickened.
  4. Add the milk and cream mixture to the egg yolks and whisk well. Pass through a sieve and allow to rest for 10 minutes. Skim off the top layer to remove any foam.
  5. Ladle the mixture into ramekins and place in a roasting tin. Place in the oven and pour in enough hot water to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Bake for 11⁄2 hours until set. Remove from the roasting tin and allow to cool. When cool, refrigerate the crème brûlées for 2 hours, until firm.
  6. To serve, drain the pears and cut into thin slices and arrange on the top of the ramekins. When ready to eat, sprinkle the demerara sugar over the top and caramelize either with a blowtorch or by putting them under a hot grill.
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