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Cherry creme brulee

What a surprise when you dig in your spoon – succulent cherries are the filling in this classic dessert with a twist

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Ingredients (Serves 6)
  • 600ml/1pt double cream
  • 1 vanilla pod, split lengthways
  • 12 fresh cherries, stones and stalks removed, halved
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 125g/41/2oz golden caster sugar
Pour the cream into a pan, add the vanilla pod and bring slowly to the boil. Remove from the heat, cover and set aside to infuse for at least 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 150°C, 275°F, Gas 1.

Stand six ramekins in a roasting tin and place two cherry halves into the bottom of each one.

Beat the egg yolks with 1 tbsp caster sugar in a bowl, then pour in the vanilla-infused cream, stirring constantly. Strain into a jug, then pour into the ramekins. Pour enough hand-hot water into the roasting tin to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Bake in the preheated oven for 45 minutes or until the mixture sets.

Remove from the oven and leave to cool, then chill for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight.

Preheat the grill to very hot.

Sprinkle the remaining sugar evenly over the top of the custards to form a thin layer. Place the ramekins on the grill tray and grill for 2-3 minutes until the sugar caramelises. Alternatively, use a cook’s blow torch to caramelise the sugar.

Allow to cool for 1 hour but do not chill – the caramel will form a crisp layer on the surface. Serve within 2-3 hours.

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