Creme caramels with pineapple and toasted pistachios

Source: Coles Magazine November 2015 - Page 42

3 1/2 cups (770g) sugar, divided
 5 large Coles Brand Australian free range eggs
 3 large Coles Brand Australian free range egg yolks
 4 cups (1L) full-cream milk
 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
 1 medium golden pineapple, peeled, cored, cut into 1.5cm-thick rings (about 500g)
 2/3 cup (160ml) fresh pineapple juice, strained, from about 1/2 medium pineapple
 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, plus more to taste
 1 tablespoon dark rum (optional)
 1/3 cup (45g) pistachios, toasted, coarsely chopped

To make the crème caramels: Position a rack in the centre of the oven and preheat the oven to 150°C.
In a medium saucepan, add 1 1/4 cups of sugar and 1/4 cup water. Stir over low heat without boiling until the sugar has dissolved. Increase the heat to medium-high and boil without stirring for about 10 minutes, brushing down the sides of the pan with a wet pastry brush to dissolve any crystals, until the caramel is golden brown. Remove the pan from the heat and divide the caramel among the 8 ramekins, tilting the ramekins to coat the bottoms. Allow the caramel to cool completely and harden.
In a large bowl, whisk the eggs and yolks until smooth. In a large saucepan, bring the milk, 1 1/2 cups of sugar and vanilla to a simmer over medium heat, while gently stirring, for about 5 minutes, or until the sugar has dissolved. Slowly whisk the warm milk into the eggs. Strain the custard through a fine-mesh sieve and let cool to room temperature. Divide the custard equally among the prepared ramekins.
Place the ramekins in a large deep roasting pan. Carefully pour enough boiling water into the pan to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Cover the pan tightly with aluminum foil. Place the pan in the oven and bake the crème caramels, rotating the pan halfway through cooking, for about 1 hour, or until the edges are set and the centres jiggle when tapped (the custard will continue to set as it cools). Carefully remove the ramekins from the hot water and let cool to room temperature. Cover and refrigerate the crème caramels for at least 8 hours before serving, and best if refrigerated overnight. The crème caramels will firm up as they chill.
To prepare the pineapple: Cut each pineapple ring into 10 bite-size fan-shaped pieces. In a large saucepan, bring 1 cup of water, pineapple juice, lemon juice and remaining 3/4 cup of sugar to a boil over medium heat. Reduce the heat to low, add the pineapple pieces and simmer for about 30 minutes, or until the pineapple is semi-translucent. Skim off any foam from the surface of the mixture. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the pineapple to a heatproof bowl. Add the rum, if desired, to the pan and continue cooking the juices for about 8 minutes, or until the syrup has reduced by two-thirds and is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Pour the syrup over the pineapple and add lemon juice to taste. Cool slightly.
To serve: Fill a small bowl with 5 cm of very hot water. Dip each ramekin in the water for about 20 seconds. Run a small knife around the inside of each ramekin. Turn out the crème caramels onto individual serving plates. Spoon the pineapple around the crème caramels and sprinkle the pistachios over the pineapple.

Vic Lic

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