recipe has been reproduced with the kind permission
of Pierre Beghin. Pierre runs hands-on cookery
classes in Islington - la cuisine de Pierre.
Each class features a complete lunch or dinner menu
with three seasonal recipes that can easily be prepared
by those new to cooking. A chance to learn the art of
entertaining "à la française"
I was about five or six, I had to stand on a chair to
peek inside the pots and pans to see what my mother
was cooking. A few years later, I used to invite friends
around to make crêpes on Wednesdays . . ."
Beghin - patient, unflappable and a marvellous
Gold - The Times
left feeling like I was halfway to becoming
a domestic goddess and much more confident
about my cooking abilities".
Milne - Islington Gazette
a few hours, Pierre managed to convince me
that cooking a meal from scratch is tastier
and more enjoyable than reaching for a ready
meal - it really is a great way to unwind".
Caroline Jones - Top Santé, Health
/ 1/2 pint double cream
1 vanilla pod or 1 tsp vanilla essence
4 egg yolks
1 tablespoon caster sugar
the cream with the vanilla pod, if using, into a saucepan
and heat to scalding point (just below boiling point),
making sure it does not boil. Remove the vanilla pod.
the oven to 170°C / 325°F / Gas mark 3
the egg yolks with the sugar and when light and fluffy,
stir in the warm cream. Place the mixture in the top
of a double saucepan, or in a heatproof bowl set over,
not in, a saucepan of simmering water, over a low
heat. Stir continuously with a wooden spoon until
the custard is thick enough to coat the back of the
spoon. If using vanilla essence, add it now.
the custard into an ovenproof serving dish, place
in a roasting pan half-filled with hot water (a bain-marie)
and bake in the preheated oven for 12 minutes to create
a good skin on top. Refrigerate overnight. On no account
break the top skin.
day preheat the grill to its highest setting.
the top of the custard with a 5mm / 1/4 inch even
layer of caster sugar. To do this, stand the dish
on a tray or large sheet of greaseproof paper and
sift the sugar over the dish and the tray or paper.
In this way you will get an even layer of sugar. Collect
the sugar falling wide for re-use.
the custard under the very hot grill, as close as
you can get it to the heat. The sugar will melt and
caramelize before the custard underneath it boils.
Watch carefully, turning the custard if the sugar
is browning unevenly. (A better result is obtained
with a blowtorch.)
to cool completely before serving. The top should
be hard and crackly.
the top with the serving spoon and give each diner
some custard (which should be creamy and just set)
and a piece of caramel.
Creme brûlée is also good made in individual ramekins.
In this case, bake the custard for only 5 minutes.