The Saturday Paper

FOOD: Crème brûlée with poached rhubarb.

- Andrew McConnell

Serves 6

– 4 sticks of rhubarb

– ½ cup orange juice

– 3 tbsp castor sugar

– 400ml cream

– 100ml milk

– 1 vanilla pod, split and scraped

– 4 egg yolks

– 2 tbsp castor sugar

– ½ cup of castor sugar for the caramel

Preheat your oven to 160ºC. To prepare the rhubarb, peel and slice into one-centimetre pieces, then place in a small saucepan with the orange juice and three tablespoon­s of the sugar. Bring to a simmer and cook until the rhubarb starts to soften but retains its form. Transfer to a container and cool in the refrigerat­or. Meanwhile, combine the cream, milk and vanilla seeds in a saucepan and gently bring to a simmer. Combine the egg yolks and the remaining sugar in a mixing bowl and whisk. Slowly pour the hot liquid into the bowl with the sugar and egg mixture, whisking the custard continuall­y. Strain the juice of the poached rhubarb and evenly disperse the fruit in one layer between six ramekins. Pour the custard on top (about two centimetre­s deep) then place the ramekins in a deep oven tray. Place the tray in the oven, then pour boiling water into the tray holding the custards to halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Bake for 30-40 minutes (they will have a jelly-like wobble when done). Remove the tray from the oven and leave it to cool on your kitchen bench for 30 minutes (until the set custards are at room temperatur­e). Place the ramekins in the refrigerat­or for two hours or, even better, overnight to cool completely. To serve, scatter one tablespoon of sugar evenly over the surface of the brûlée. Using a blowtorch, caramelise to a dark brown, carefully turning the brûlée in your hand as you go to get an even sheet of caramelise­d sugar on the surface. Leave to cool for a few minutes to let the sugar set hard, then serve immediatel­y.

Wine pairing: 2013 Balnarring Vineyard East muscat rouge à petits grains, Mornington Peninsula ($35)

– Liam O’Brien, head sommelier, Cutler & Co

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