Mulled fruit crème brûlée is pure Christmas dessert heaven, with all the festive flavours you could wish for in one mouthful. It’s great if you’re feeding anyone who’s not keen on Christmas pudding, as it’s still got a gorgeous depth of spice and fruit, but with a sweeter, creamier taste. If you make it right, it’s got that perfect crunch on the top that’s great to crack with a spoon once it’s dished up. This is a fab alternative Christmas dessert that can be made into individual servings, so it’s ideal for those few people who turn up on Christmas day who might not love Christmas pudding. If you’re too full for something rich and chocolatey, this is the perfect dessert to satisfy your sweet tooth and eat something festive too!
- For the mulled fruit:
- 150g mixed dried fruit
- 2tbsp port
- 2tbsp caster sugar
- Pinch mixed spice
- Zest 1 orange
- For the custard:
- 400ml double cream
- 100ml whole milk
- 1tsp vanilla extract or paste
- 4 large egg yolks
- 75g golden caster sugar
- 2-3tbsp caster sugar
Put all the ingredients for the mulled fruit into a pan, simmer gently until there is very little liquid left and the fruit is plump, about 5 mins. Divide between 6 x 150ml ramekins.
Heat the oven to 150°C/Gas Mark 2. Put the cream, milk and vanilla into a heavy-based pan and heat slowly until very hot – don’t allow it to boil. Leave to cool for 5 mins. Meanwhile, whisk the yolks and golden caster sugar together until pale. Gradually pour the warm cream onto the yolks, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, then strain through a sieve into a clean pan. Cook over a low heat, stirring constantly, until thickened slightly, then skim off any foam. Sit the ramekins in a large, deep roasting tin.
Divide the custard equally between each ramekin, pouring slowly. Pour hot water (not boiling) into the roasting tin about 2cm up the sides of the ramekins. Bake for 30-45 mins until softly set – they will still wobble. Remove from the water bath and leave to cool. Chill for at least 2 hrs.
Before serving, sprinkle 1tsp caster sugar over each ramekin. Using a blowtorch, melt the sugar until caramelised (but not too dark). Or put ramekins under a hot grill until caramelised, but make sure they don’t burn.
Don’t be scared of a brûlée! If using a cook’s blowtorch, don’t hold it too close to the sugar otherwise it will burn. To help the sugar dissolve, spray it lightly with water.