CRÈME BRÛLÉE AU CITRON VERT KAFFIR ET À LA CITRONNELLE
The classic crème brûlée has to be one of my favourite French desserts — but steaming the brûlée instead of baking it, and flavouring it with kaffir lime and lemongrass, takes it to another level.
© 2021 Luke Nguyen / Hardie Grant Books · Reproduced with permission. · Luke Nguyen’s France: A Gastronomic Adventure. Published by Hardie Grant. Photography by Alan Benson and Suzanna Boyd
Pour the cream into a saucepan. Split the vanilla bean lengthways using a small sharp knife, then scrape the seeds into the cream.
Add the lime leaves and lemongrass and bring to the boil, then turn off the heat. Cover the pan and allow the flavours to infuse for 10 minutes.
Beat the sugar and egg yolks together in a mixing bowl until creamy. Pour the infused cream over the egg mixture, whisking constantly until combined. Strain the mixture into a large jug, discarding the solids, then pour into eight 125 ml (4 fl oz/½ cup) Asian teacups, filling each about two-thirds full.
Bring a wok or saucepan of water to a rapid boil. Place the teacups in a metal or bamboo steamer and cover with the lid.
Reduce the heat to low, then sit the steamer over the wok and steam for 25–30 minutes, or until the custards are just set; they will still be slightly wobbly in the middle. Allow to cool to room temperature, then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours, or until set.
Just before serving, evenly distribute a teaspoon of caster sugar over the top of each custard, and then caramelise with a kitchen blowtorch or under a hot grill (broiler) for a few minutes.