This classic dessert is surprisingly easy. The custards can be made up to 2 days ahead, simply caramelizing the tops just before serving. Mini blow torches are available at most kitchenware stores. Makes 6 desserts.
- 2 cups Rosehill heavy whipping cream
- 1 cup Rosehill whole milk
- 3 Page Mandarin Oranges (or other citrus)
- 12 large egg yolks from local Clifford Family Farms eggs
- ½ cup white sugar
- ½ cup+ India Tree Demerara sugar
Zest the skin of the 3 mandarin oranges (about 1 tablespoon.)
Squeeze fresh mandarin orange juice to make 1 tablespoon.
Prepare large bowl of ice and cold water for an ice bath.
Preheat the oven to 300°F.
Combine the cream, milk, orange zest, and orange juice in a medium saucepan. Warm over medium heat, but do not let boil, until steam begins to rise.
Remove the saucepan from the heat. Cool the pan in the ice bath, stirring occasionally, until the mixture has reached room temperature, about 10 minutes.
In a large bowl, combine the egg yolks and ½ cup of the sugar. Using a handheld or stand alone mixer, briskly whisk until well combined.
Once cooled, gently add in the cream mixture and briefly whisk to combine.
Strain the custard through a fine mesh to remove any orange pieces and create a smooth texture.
Using 4 oz ramekins, evenly divide the egg mixture into each, using a glass measuring cup or ladle.
Lay a paper or very thin cloth towel in bottom of a baking dish. (This prevents the ramekins from sliding.) Place the filled ramekins in the baking dish, then fill with water to about halfway up the ramekins.
Bake until the custard is set and firm to the touch, about 35 – 40 minutes. Leave to cool in the water bath until they reach room temperature, then remove from the water, cover with plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours. (Can be held in the fridge at this point for up to 2 days.)
Before serving, carefully remove the plastic wrap. Gently lay a paper towel on top to very carefully blot any excess moisture.
Evenly sprinkle the tops with the Demerara sugar. Working carefully, torch the tops of each custard to create an even golden brown. Serve right away.
To perfect the technique of caramelizing the tops, first practice on a ceramic plate. (We recommend using a plate to which you are not emotionally attached, as the burnt sugar can be challenging to remove at times.)
Simply spread out a thin dusting of Demerara sugar on the plate and practice with the torch. Alternate distance from the plate and amounts of sugar to get a sense of the technique.