Strawberry-Rhubarb Crème Brulee

  • 1 pound strawberries - washed and quartered
  • 1 pound rhubarb - washed, trimmed & cut into 1/4 inch
  • 6 tablespoons sugar
  • 5 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 3/4 cups heavy cream
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • Superfine Granulated sugar, as needed

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Arrange the rhubarb in a buttered baking dish and bake uncovered for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the strawberries and bake for 15 minutes longer. When it's done, transfer the fruit to a bowl and stir in the 6 tablespoons of sugar. Set the mixture aside to cool.

When the fruit is cool, preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

In a bowl, whisk the egg yolks and the 1/2 cup of sugar to a ribbon stage. In a small saucepan, add the cream and split the vanilla bean, scrape out the seeds and add the pod and the seeds to the pan. Over moderately high heat, scald the cream and vanilla. In a stream, whisk into the egg yolk mixture. Strain the custard into a pitcher.

Fill 8 ramekins halfway with the fruit and then cover the fruit with the custard. Place the ramekins in a roasting pan and pour enough hot water to reach halfway up the outside of each ramekin. Cover loosely with foil and bake for about 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes or until the custard is set. When it's finished, remove the ramekins from the pan and cool on wire racks. Cool in the refrigerator until chilled, about 4 hours.

Just before serving, cover each custard with the raw sugar and, using a torch, caramelize each dessert. If you don't have a torch, you can place them under the broiler. Serve and enjoy.

  • Yields: 8 servings
  • Preparation Time: 2 hours, plus chilling time
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