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Crema Catalana

Serves 8

Preparation time 2 hours

cooking time 15 minutes PLUS 4-6 hours chilling

Text and Recipes Andy Harris
Food Styling Hannah Meppem
Wine Matches Peter Bourne
Photography William Meppem
Styling Sabine Schmitz


1 litre milk
1 cinnamon stick
zest of 2 lemons
1 vanilla pod, split
8 egg yolks
300g caster sugar
45g cornflour
8 tbsp demerara sugar

To serve
soft seasonal fruits such as blackberries or whatever is available


1Place milk, cinnamon, lemon zest and vanilla pod into a small saucepan and heat over medium heat until milk just comes to the boil. Take off the heat, cover with a lid and leave for a couple of hours.

2 Whisk egg yolks, caster sugar and cornflour in a bowl.

3Strain milk through a sieve straight into the egg mixture, whisking continuously.

4Pour this mixture into a pan over a low heat and stir with a wooden spoon until it thickens or for about 12-15 minutes.

5Pour into 8 small bowls (ideally classic tapas-style low-sided brown earthenware dishes that are traditionally used, or alternatively ramekin-style dishes) and allow to set for 4-6 hours in the refrigerator.

6To serve, sprinkle the demerara sugar on top of each dish and caramelise with a blowtorch or place under a hot grill until the sugar caramelises. Serve with some fruit on the side as garnish.

Wine Match

Sanchez Romate Moscatel Ambrosia,
Jerez, Spain, A$83

Ambrosia is made in the style of the rich, barrel-aged sherries of Jerez, but based on muscat grapes rather than palomino or Pedro Ximénez. As the name implies, Ambrosia has a heady bouquet, dense, grapey flavours, an unctuous texture and energising acidity, giving it the power and persistence to match the creamy richness of the custard.