Prep Time: 3 hours, 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours, 20 minutes
Yield: 4 Servings
- 1 cup sugar
- 4 egg yolks
- 1 tbsp cornstarch
- 1 stick cinnamon
- grated rind of 1 lemon
- 2 cups milk
This is a great dessert to make ahead of time, since it is very easy and requires 2-3 hours of refrigeration before serving. Make it the day before and leave it in the refrigerator until you are ready to serve. Then, heat the broiler, caramelize the sugar and serve!
In a pot, beat together the egg yolks and 3/4 cup sugar until thoroughly blended and the mixture turns frothy. Add the cinnamon stick and grated lemon rind. Pour in the milk and cornstarch. Slowly heat the mixture, stirring constantly, just until thickened. Remove pot from heat immediately.
Tip: As soon as the mixture thickens and you feel resistance while stirring, remove the pot from the heat or the mixture may curdle or separate! The texture of the finished crema will be grainy instead of smooth and creamy as it should be.
Remove the cinnamon stick and ladle the milk mixture into 4-6 ramekins (depending on size). Allow to cool, then refrigerate for at least 2-3 hours.
Before serving, preheat the broiler. Remove ramekins with the crema catalana from refrigerator and sprinkle the rest of the sugar over each ramekin. When broiler is hot, place the ramekins under the broiler on the top shelf and allow the sugar to caramelize, turning gold and brown. This may take 10 minutes or so, depending on your broiler. Remove and serve immediately.
If you'd like, you can serve the crema catalana chilled, but we think it has more flavor when served warm from the broiler.
Do you prefer to follow a step-by-step recipe with photos? Then our How to Make Crema Catalana Step-by-Step is for you!