Catalan cream – a timeless classic from Spain

There’s something wonderful about rediscovering an old treasured recipe, such as this classic for Catalan cream.

This one comes with thanks to Jenni, a long time customer, who has held onto an Essential Ingredient newsletter from 2002 and brought in store to share with us.

There is no better dessert than a well executed custard – simple, elegant and satisfying.

Almost every country has its own version. The finest panna cotta from Italy, luxurious creme brulée and creme caramel from France, and the smooth, rich Catalan cream from Spain is no exception.


Serves 8
6 large egg yolks
500ml milk
500ml cream
160g sugar View
50g cornflour
Rind from half a lemon
Rind from half an orange
One cinnamon stick View
Half teaspoon vanilla extract View
Caster sugar for the toffee View

Bring the milk and cream almost to the boil with the orange and lemon rind, the cinnamon stick and the sugar. Remove from the heat and allow to infuse for 30 minutes.

Combine the vanilla extract, egg yolks and the cornflour in a bowl.

Strain the milk mixture and add about half a cup to the eggs. Mix well.

Bring the balance of the strained milk just to the boil and add to the eggs, stirring constantly.

Put the cream in the top half of a bain-marie and return to the heat. Stir constantly until the cream thickens.

Spoon into six terracotta Catalan cream/tapas dishes. Allow to cool, and then refrigerate.

An hour before serving, sprinkle an even layer of caster sugar over the custards and place under a grill or use a salamander iron or blowtorch to caramelise the sugar topping.

Allow to rest at room temperature until required.

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