recipe has been reproduced with the kind permission
of Linda Stradley
who runs the What's Cooking
America web site <click
says, "My mom was a great cook, but she
cooked the typical foods of the 50's of overcooked
meat and vegetables. It wasn't until I really
got interested in cooking for my family that I
discovered the wonders of great food using simple
fresh ingredients! I also discovered the love
of eating and the problems of weight gain!"
has always had a fascination with history. Put
this together with her love of good food and you
have a culinary historian. Linda says, "The
research of the origins of foods of America have
become an obsession when being introduced to new
foods." Traveling with her husband, Don,
all around the States, she always combines her
pursuit of pleasure and eating with the pursuit
of new foods and their history.
originated the What's Cooking America site in
1997 and continues to maintain it with regular
additions. The web site is a continuation of her
first cookbook also called What's Cooking America,
which she co-authored with her friend Andra Cook.
Linda has a new book available called I'll
Have What They're Having: Legendary Local Cuisine
- for details or to purchase <click
you love lavender and love creme brulee, this
dessert will instantly WOW you!
cups heavy cream
1 tablespoon dried lavender flowers*
8 egg yolks
3/4 cup sugar, divided
Found in Health Food Stores,
Gourmet Stores, or use your own hand-dried flowers.
Butter (6 ounce) custard cups and set them into
a glass baking dish. If cooking custards in
a metal pan, cover the bottom of the pan with
a layer of newspaper to ensure an even temperature
on the bottom. Place custard cups in a shallow
ovenproof roasting or baking pan.
a large, heavy saucepan over medium heat, add
cream and the lavender flowers; heat just to
from heat and allow lavender flowers to infuse
with the cream for 5 minutes.
cream mixture through a fine mesh strainer to
remove lavender flowers.
In a large bowl, whisk together the egg yolks
and 1/2 the sugar until light and creamy.
add the strained cream to the egg mixture, blending
custard mixture among the custard cups.
the water for the water bath to a light simmer
on top of the stove; carefully pour hot water
into the baking pan to come half-way cup the
sides of the custard cups.
The most common mistake people make in baking
a custard is not putting enough water in the
hot-water bath. The water should come up to
the level of the custard inside the cups. You
must protect your custard from the heat.
for 60 minutes or until set around the edges
but still loose in the center. The cooking time
will depend largely on the size of the custard
cup you are using, but begin checking at a half
hour and check back regularly. When the center
of the custard is just set, it will jiggle a
little when shaken, that's when you can remove
it from the oven.
from oven and leave in the water bath until
cooled. Remove cups from water bath and refrigerate
at least 2 hours or up to 2 days.
ready to serve, sprinkle approximately 2 teaspoons
of remaing sugar over each creme brulee.
best results, use a small hand-held torch. Hold
the torch 4 to 5 inches from the sugar, maintaing
a slow and even motion. Stop torching just before
the desired degree of doneness is reached, as
the sugar will continue to cook for a few seconds
after flame has been removed. If you don't have
a torch, place creme brulees 6 inches below
the broiler for 4 to 6 minutes or until sugar
bubbles and turns golden brown.
creme brulees at least 10 minutes before serving.
6 - 8
Linda Stradley - What's Cooking America