Coconut Crème Brûlée

26 Feb

This month’s issue of Bon Appetit has several recipes I plan on making. I had a dozen egg yolks left over from making angel food cake for my grandmother’s birthday, so I started with Coconut Crème Brûlée. Velvety and smooth, and just enough coconut flavor. I think next time I’ll skip the brûlée and just call it custard. I don’t have a fancy-schmancy kitchen torch, and the broiler just doesn’t melt the sugar the same.  I did use Demerara sugar on top, so even though it didn’t completely melt, it did make a nice crisp layer on top.

I use unsweetened coconut in my recipe. I accidentally picked it up instead of sweetened, and the dish was just sweet enough. Sweetened coconut would have sent it over the edge. I also left out the rum, and added in a teaspoon of vanilla. The strained coconut is too good to throw out – eat it plain or stir it into some yogurt. If you don’t use rum, its also kid-friendly.

Coconut Crème Brûlée

  • 1 cup unsweetened flaked coconut, divided
  • 3/4 cup plus 8 teaspoons sugar
  • 7 large egg yolks
  • 1 3/4 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1 14-ounce can unsweetened coconut milk – low fat is ok
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350°F. Spread 1/2 cup flaked coconut on rimmed baking sheet. Bake until light golden, stirring once, 8-10  minutes.

Whisk 3/4 cup sugar and egg yolks in medium bowl to blend. Mix cream, coconut milk, toasted coconut, and remaining 1/2 cup unsweetened flaked coconut in heavy large saucepan. Bring just to simmer over medium-high heat, whisking occasionally. Gradually whisk hot cream mixture into yolk mixture. Stir in vanilla and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Strain custard through fine strainer into medium pitcher, pressing on solids. Divide among eight 2/3- to 3/4-cup ramekins or custard cups.

Place ramekins in large roasting pan. Fill pan with enough hot water to come halfway up sides of ramekins. Bake custards until edges are set but centers move slightly when dishes are gently shaken, 45 to 50 minutes. Remove custards from water. Chill custards uncovered until cold, then cover and chill overnight.

Sprinkle 1 teaspoon sugar over each custard. Using kitchen torch, heat sugar until melted and deep amber. (Or, preheat broiler on low. Place ramekins on rimmed baking sheet and broil until sugar melts and turns deep amber, 1 to 2 minutes – watch carefully!) Chill until sugar hardens, about 15 minutes. 

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3 Responses to “Coconut Crème Brûlée”

  1. Dad March 1, 2010 at 11:50 pm #

    The brûlée is incomparably magnificent–a tour de force of culinary artistry, an exemplar of the highest level of gustatory proficiency.

    Can one improve upon perfection? Is it not possible to follow the direction of the artiste herself, and imagine the creation that does include the rum? And, even more daring, to move from mere imagination to the glorious reality itself?

  2. Elissa Pugh March 16, 2010 at 9:36 pm #

    I will definitely be making this!

  3. Stephanie loves her chef's torch May 31, 2010 at 5:55 am #

    I have made so many different versions of creme brulee but never with coconut, thanks for the recipe – I will DEFINITELY be making this one!

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