This Brown Sugar Pot de Creme recipe was one of the first I learned as a newly hired pastry cook. The trend at that time was to update old fashioned classics. This dessert always reminds me of butterscotch custard which was a favorite of mine growing up. The deep rich caramel flavor is highlighted by vanilla and orange zest. My favorite way to serve it is with a dollop of whipped cream and some fresh fruit like these beautiful passionfruit. I was so lucky to be gifted these homegrown beauties from my dear friend Kirby @leisurefanclub. The floral and tart fruit went so perfectly with the velvety rich pot de creme. The seeds add a wonderful texture too. If you can't get your hands on passionfruit, you can serve it with your favorite citrus or berry or enjoy it as is.
BROWN SUGAR POT de CREME
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste
1 3/4 cups heavy cream
3/4 cup whole milk
6 large egg yolks, room temp
2 pieces of orange zest (use a vegetable peeler to create 2 long pieces)
whipped cream, serving
3 ripe passionfruit, halved
Preheat oven to 325F. Place 6 oven proof ramekins (6 oz) in a large baking pan. In a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat then whisk in the brown sugar and salt. Lower the heat to a simmer and continue to cook for 5 minutes, stir with a wooden spoons it doesn't burn. Remove from heat and slowly add in milk, cream, vanilla bean paste and orange zest. Return the saucepan to medium low heat and cook for 5 minutes while whisking the mixture until the sugar is incorporated. Place the egg yolks in a large mixing bowl. Temper the milk/cream mixture into the yolks by slowly adding it to the yolks in a steady stream, while whisking constantly. Strain the mixture through a fine sieve. Pour the mixture evenly into each ramekin leaving about 1/2 inch from the top. Carefully transfer the pan to the oven and pour hot water in the pan until it comes halfway up the ramekins. Cover with foil and bake for 40-45 minutes until the center is just set. Cool the custards in the pan for 15 minutes then transfer to a cooling rack for 30 minutes. Place the pot de cremes on a sheet pan and chill in the fridge overnight. To serve, place a dollap of whipped cream and the seed from a passionfruit half on top. Serve immediately and enjoy!
The Pot de Cremes can be made up to 3 days in advance.
Serve with berries or citrus instead of passionfruit.
If you cannot find vanilla paste, replace with an equal amount of vanilla extract or half of a vanilla bean.