October 02, 2010

Tamarisk Honey Crème Brûlée

Honeybee on Garden Mum 'Tasha'
Crème Brûlée is a dish about contrasts and complements. The silky custard with its shatteringly crisp topping. The hot caramelized shell and the cold beneath. And here, the mellow crème and robust tamarisk honey.

Tamarisk Honey Crème Brûlée
Directions
Heat 'til steaming:
1 c. half-and-half
1/2 vanilla bean, split open
1 T. honey

Whisk together in a small bowl:
3 yolks
1 T. sugar
pinch of salt

Slowly pour the hot liquid into the yolks, whisking constantly. Pour through a strainer into (2) 4-oz. ramekins. Place the ramekins in a bain marie and cover loosely with foil. Bake for 40" at 300°F, or until the centers are barely set and still jiggly. (Alternately, you can bake 4 smaller ramekins at 275°F.) Remove the ramekins from the water bath as soon as you can to let cool. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

à la Minute Service
Uncover each dish, straight from the fridge, and coat the custard with granulated sugar, about 1 T. Burn with a torch and serve immediately.

NOTES: Feel free to use any honey varietal you like. This recipe scales up; just quadruple everything if you're serving 8.

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