The Perfect Dessert
How do you describe the taste of quince? It has a rich, aromatic flavor, and when cooked it almost has notes of caramel or toffee. It is both decadent and refreshing—a delightful combination!
Quince is fantastic in crème brûlée, a dessert I have come to learn is wonderfully easy and flexible. Whereas many people assume crème brûlées are difficult to make, they are actually very simple. Just melt some ingredients in a saucepan, beat eggs and sugar, combine, pour into ramekins, bake, put some sugar on top, broil or torch them, and voilà!
Once you have a basic crème brûlée recipe you can make a thousand different types with ease. As long as you can find the quince for this (it doesn't seem to be in many stores but I do find it at Safeway from time to time so it must exist in large American supermarkets), then you have a simple, easy, and delicious recipe.
Enjoy this original recipe!
- 8 ounces quince preserves
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1 cup milk
- 6 egg yolks
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup + 6 tablespoons sugar
- In a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat, combine the quince preserves, heavy cream, and milk. Stir until the quince dissolves into the cream and milk. It should be a homogenous and smooth liquid.
- In a heat-proof mixing bowl, beat together the egg yolks with 1 cup of sugar and vanilla extract until the mixture is pale and thin. Then add in part of the hot liquid from the stove to cauterize the eggs and prevent them from cooking when placed back on the stove, mix together, and pour everything back into the saucepan on the stovetop.
- Cook for a few minutes longer, over low heat, until the liquid starts to boil or thicken. Simultaneously preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Pour the liquid into ramekins (I used 6 of them), and place them into a large baking dish or casserole. Pour boiling hot water around them so that it comes up to around 1/2 of the way up the ramekins. Place this into the oven for 60 minutes.
- Allow to cool when removed from the oven, using a refrigerator, then pour the 6 tablespoons of sugar evenly over the top of the ramekins. Place into the oven under the broiler which has been preheated to maximum, with the door open to prevent general heating, and watch very carefully to see that the top gets caramelized but doesn't burn; the change will happen very quickly. You can also use an oven torch as is tradition if you have one. Serve immediately if possible.