Very similar to the French Crème brûlée, Crema Catalana is a typical Catalan dessert from the eighteenth century. Legend says Crema Catalana was created accidentally when nuns at a Catalan convent decided to prepare a dessert for a bishop’s visit. They intended to make a flan, but when they finished preparation, the nuns realized the dessert hadn’t solidified enough. The nuns tried fixing it, but only managed to serve it with burnt sugar on top.
Crema Catalana is a traditional Catalan dessert that is usually served on March 19th, to celebrate San José’s day, but can also be found in restaurants during the rest of the year.
Crema Catalana is made from egg yolk, sugar, wheat flour or corn flour, and milk, to which you can add a little bit of cinnamon and lemon.
Discover the tradition behind Crema Catalana here: The Catalan cream, a sweet tradition
To prepare Crema Catalana you will need:
- 750ml of milk
- 6 egg yolks
- 50g of cornstarch
- Some lemon peel
- 200mg of sugar
The recipe, step by step
The first thing you need to do is to dilute the cornstarch in one glass of milk. When the mix is ready, save it for later.
The next thing you have to do is to separate the egg yolks from the egg whites. Gather the 6 yolks in a bowl, pour the 200mg of sugar and mix them until it forms a creamy paste. Save the mix for later.
Next you should pour the rest of the milk in a pan and heat it up on the stove. While the milk is heating up, wash a lemon thoroughly to make sure you remove any dirt or chemical products from the peel. Use a sharp knife and carefully peel the lemon, trying to get only the yellow part and not the white part of the peel, since the white part can produce a very bitter taste in the dessert.
Place the peel with the milk in the pan until the milk starts to boil. Once the milk is boiling, you can reduce the fire and remove the lemon peel.
Next, add the egg yolk/sugar preparation to the milk. Mix all very well.
Add the glass of milk with the diluted cornstarch and mix until the liquid becomes thick.
Turn off the stove and pour the thick liquid into a serving dish or ramekins. Crema Catalana is usually served in small clay containers.
The last thing you have to do is to cover the dessert with sugar and burn the top, caramelizing the sugar.
Place the Crema Catalana in the fridge for a couple of hours and it’s ready to serve.